Utah prison officer charged with smuggling drugs to inmates

Utah State Prison.jpg
Posted at 8:58 PM, Sep 07, 2021
and last updated 2021-09-07 23:01:47-04

DRAPER, Utah — A corrections officer at the Utah State Prison has been charged with distributing drugs to inmates inside the facility.

Byron Curt Stoddard, 45, was arrested after inmates told a Utah Department of Corrections investigator that the guard had brought methamphetamine, suboxone and fentanyl at least three times, with more "drops" planned for the future.

According to charging documents, inmate Paul William Munster, 46, arranged for Stoddard to meet with a dealer, then Stoddard would bring the drugs to Munster and other inmates.

After reviewing Munster's recorded phone calls with the alleged dealer, investigators surveilled Stoddard and saw him enter a home with "possible ties to drug trafficking," according to court documents, and leaving with a bag.

Police pulled Stoddard over, brought in a K-9 who indicated the presence of drugs, then searched his vehicle and found an estimated 42 grams of meth and 100 "single uses" of suboxone.

Stoddard was charged with distribution of a controlled substance and possession of a controlled substance with intent to distribute — both felonies. He is being held in the Salt Lake County Jail without bail.

Munster was charged with distributing or arranging to distribute a controlled substance, a second-degree felony.

Cella Cherrie Pasillas, 24, is charged with the same count as Munster. Police say they traced multiple inmates' payments for drugs to a Venmo account belonging to her. A warrant was issued, but it was not clear whether she had been arrested yet as of Tuesday.