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TSA officer arrested on felony cocaine charges

A federal security officer working at the Buffalo Niagara International Airport is accused of dealing drugs.

Todd Stoddard, 29, of Kingswood Drive in Cheektowaga, was arrested on felony cocaine charges Thursday night, according to the Erie County Sheriff’s Office.

Stoddard has been working as an officer for the Transportation Security Administration at the airport since November 2011, sources said.

Law enforcement received information about Stoddard’s alleged drug dealing, which led to a monthlong, joint investigation by the Sheriff’s Office, the FBI Safe Streets Task Force and police from Cheektowaga and the Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority, officials said.

“He went to work during the day, and then he would leave work and he’d go and sell drugs on the side,” said Scott R. Patronik, chief of special services for the sheriff’s office. “It looked to me like it was just additional income.”

It is not believed Stoddard used his position at the airport to smuggle drugs.

“That was something we actually took a real close look at, and we didn’t see anything at all,” Patronik said.

Stoddard was charged at around 9 p.m. Thursday during a traffic stop on Vicksburg Avenue in the Town of Tonawanda, as part of a planned operation by investigators, Patronik said.

Stoddard was charged with three counts of criminal possession of a controlled substance in the third degree, criminal sale of a controlled substance and two counts of criminal use of drug paraphernalia.

TSA officials could not be reached to comment Friday.

The case was another example of multiple law enforcement agencies working together cooperatively to make an arrest, said Sheriff Timothy B. Howard.