Tonawanda News

July 19, 2013

TSA officer pleads guilty

Staff Reports
The Tonawanda News

Tonawanda News — A former Transportation Security Administration officer who sold drugs outside a Town of Tonawanda bar pleaded guilty Thursday to multiple drug charges.

On May 23, Todd Stoddard, who worked at the Buffalo-Niagara International Airport, sold powder cocaine to an undercover Erie County sheriff's deputy in the parking lot of Caputi's Bar located at 2351 Sheridan Drive.

The sheriff's office then obtained search warrants for Stoddard, 29, and his vehicle. 

Authorities stopped Stoddard in a vehicle on Vicksburg Avenue in the town on June 6, and found more than 1/8 of an ounce of powder cocaine that was individually packaged for sale, as well as digital scales and other drug paraphernalia. 

Stoddard, of Kingswood Drive, Cheektowaga, was arrested and was later released on $40,000 bail. 

The safety and security of the airport was not breached by Stoddard's drug sales, the sheriff's office said. On June 7, Stoddard resigned from his position, which he had held since November 2011.

Thursday, he pleaded guilty to third-degree criminal sale of a controlled substance, two counts of third-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance and fourth-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance. 

State Supreme Court Justice John Michalski will sentence Stoddard Oct. 24 at 2 p.m. Stoddard faces a maximum sentence of 18 years in prison. 

The case was prosecuted by Assistant District Attorney Mary Beth DePasquale, who is assigned to Erie County District Attorney Frank Sedita's Tactical Prosecution Unit.