A corrections officer at an Aberdeen jail faces federal charges following allegations that he smuggled drugs into the jail and gave up the identity of a police informant.
Federal prosecutors in Tacoma brought charges Wednesday against Charles A. Stocker, a 49-year-old corrections officer at Aberdeen’s city jail. Stocker is accused of assisting in drug trafficking as well as providing information about ongoing investigations to criminals.
Agents with the FBI and Drug Enforcement Administration launched an investigation in March following a tip from Grays Harbor County narcotics detectives. Federal investigators were told that Stocker had passes sensitive information to drug traffickers in Aberdeen and elsewhere.
Detectives with the Grays Harbor drug task force had become concerned that Stocker might be leaking information about their operations.
Informants told their handlers to be careful sharing information with others in law enforcement, an FBI special agent said in charging papers. Some task force informants were being cut off from their sources of supply immediately after they were recruited.
According to charging papers, Stocker tipped two convicted felons to investigations targeting them. Stocker is alleged to have told one inmate he could get out of jail by faking a heart attack, which the inmate then did and received a two-week furlough.
Investigators listened in to calls between Stocker and the two offenders. According to charging papers, Stocker dealt drugs with one of the pair, and at one point was holding $10,000 in cash they made together.
Writing the court, the FBI agent said one of Stocker’s associates then tipped another suspected drug dealer to an investigation in March. Their conversation was recorded because the suspected dealer was calling from Grays Harbor County Jail.
Stocker is alleged to have assisted that suspected dealer in exchange for a promise that the dealer would not sell heroin to his son, according to charging papers.
Agents orchestrated a sting targeting Stocker. According to charging papers, Stocker was recorded discussing how to hide money made during drug trafficking. Agents then conducted a takedown operation in July in which they searched Stocker’s home and car following a drug deal.
Stocker is alleged to have denied knowing about the task force operations. He disparaged one informant for not serving his time “like a man,” but denied any wrongdoing.
“I have never told them about anything,” Stocker is alleged to have told investigators. “I don’t know anything about controlled buys.”
Stocker, who has been on administrative leave from the city jail since his arrest, has been charged with aiding and abetting drug trafficking as well as misprision, legalese for the deliberate hiding of a felony. He has not been jailed.
Seattlepi.com reporter Levi Pulkkinen can be reached at 206-448-8348 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow Levi on Twitter at twitter.com/levipulk.
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