Charles “Andy” Stocker, the 49-year-old corrections officer at the Aberdeen City Jail who was charged in a criminal complaint with two counts of aiding and abetting drug trafficking and two counts of felony misprision (neglect or wrong performance of official duty), made his initial appearance in U.S. District Court in Tacoma on Thursday afternoon.
U.S. Attorney Annette L. Hayes stated in a press release issued Thursday morning that Stocker, who was a co-owner of a business formally known as Coastal Print Works in Aberdeen, has been the subject of an ongoing FBI investigation into allegations he was tipping off drug traffickers about law enforcement activities. Stocker is charged in a criminal complaint with two counts of aiding and abetting drug trafficking and two counts of felony misprision (neglect or wrong performance of official duty).
Stocker had been on administrative leave since last summer after federal law enforcement served court authorized search warrants on his home and business. That status has now been amended according to Aberdeen Police Chief Robert Torgerson.
“Mr. Stocker was on administrative leave until this morning (Feb. 23),” Torgerson said. “He has voluntarily asked for his release from the police department (and it was granted).”
Torgerson added his alleged criminal behavior was unacceptable.
“We have a basic rule in law enforcement — we do not except criminal activity within our agencies.”
According to the criminal complaint, members of the Grays Harbor Drug Task Force informed the FBI and the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) about indications Stocker had been providing sensitive law enforcement information to known drug dealers in the Aberdeen area. During their drug trafficking investigations, Task Force members became aware of allegations that Stocker had warned a drug dealer about an individual working with law enforcement as a confidential source attempting to purchase drugs. The FBI-led investigation uncovered a recording of a jail call that implicated Stocker in providing this information.
In addition, the investigation revealed that Stocker passed on sensitive law enforcement information, including that the Task Force was listening to jail calls to two other drug dealers who worked together to distribute drugs in the area. Stocker also allegedly agreed to hold money for one of these drug targets. That target later worked with law enforcement and under law enforcement supervision delivered money to Stocker for safe keeping. The money was recovered when the search warrants were executed. According to the complaint, Stocker made a variety of false statements at the time the search warrants were executed.
The release from the U.S. Attorney’s Office adds that aiding and abetting a drug-trafficking offense is punishable by a term of imprisonment of up to 20 years. Misprision of a felony is punishable by a term of imprisonment of up to 3 years. The charges contained in the complaint are only allegations.
After making his initial appearance Thursday, Emily Langlie, public information officer for the U.S. Attorney’s Office Seattle Division, said Stocker was released on a promise to appear in court as required.
“Mr. Stocker was placed on a personal recognizance bond and pre-trial supervision,” she said. “His preliminary hearing is scheduled for 10 a.m. March 16 back in U.S. District Court in Tacoma.”
According to the terms of his appearance bond, a willful failure to appear in court at a time set for hearing is punishable by up to 5 years imprisonment and a fine of $250,000.
Additional terms of his appearance bond include:
• No law violations
• Cooperation in the collection of DNA sample
• No controlled substance use
• Restricted travel within western Washington
• Pretrial Supervision
• Surrender of all current and expired passports
• Undergo a mental, psychiatric or psychological evaluation
• Follow all treatment recommendations
• Maintain employment or be actively seeking employment if unemployed
• Contribute toward the costs of services required by the bond
The case is being investigated by the FBI, and prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Justin Arnold and Vince Lombardi.