Border Protection Officer Tyo Acquitted

(Utica, NY – March 2013) At 10:13 a.m. March 22 United States District Court Judge David N. Hurd of the Northern District of New York entered a Judgment of Acquittal respecting the two remaining charges against veteran United States Customs and Border Protection Officer Todd L. Tyo.

After a trial held from Dec. 10 to 19 at the United States Courthouse in Utica, the jury acquitted Tyo of counts 1. 3. 5 and 6 and determined that Officer Tyo was “Not Guilty” of stealing money, making false entries into the computerized cash register system, or concealing evidence.

The remaining two (2) counts of making false entries regarding two truck crossing fees in the amount of $10. 75 each, of which the jury found Officer Tyo “Guilty” were dismissed on motion by Tyo’s attorneys Glenn Pincus and Steven M. Cohen of HoganWillig, based in Amherst.

In a 12-page decision, Judge Hurd found that the government failed to prove that Tyo stole the S21.50 because “the daily records upon which the government bases its proof are completely unreliable. The records do not support the fact that any money was even missing, let alone that the defendant stole $10.75 on the two dates in question. This conclusion is supported by the jury’s verdict that the defendant was not guilty of stealing any money between March 2011 and Aug. 10, 2011.”

Even more compelling was the jury’s complete rejection of the government’s allegation that Tyo concealed evidence in the form of marked money that was allegedly found crumpled up on the floor of a conference room.

According to Cohen, “the jury quickly realized that all of the evidence against Tyo was fabricated by retaliatory Customs supervisors from the Alexandria Bay Port of Entry. The agents from the Office of Inspector General independently found no evidence whatsoever against Officer Tyo.”

At the trial, at which approximately 40 witnesses testified, evidence continued to come forth that caused jurors to question the credibility of the prosecution’s primary witnesses, Asst. Port Director Wendy Ruttan and Chief James Davis.

“The jury stated in a clear, unanimous voice that it gave no weight to the testimony of Ruttan and Davis,” Cohen said.

Quoting a witness. Judge Kurd’s decision reflects that the Alexandria Bay Port of Entry “was a very sloppy operation.”

Judge Hurd found that “the evidence to establish that Tyo kept those two truck entry fees for himself was so speculative as to be almost, if not completely, nonexistent. This lack of evidence was reflected in his (jury) acquittal on Counts 1,3,5 and 6. Thus, there was insufficient evidence for a reasonable jury to find, beyond a reasonable doubt, that he knowingly and willfully committed the crimes charged in Counts 2 and 4. The jury verdict (as to those counts) must be overturned.”

“It is a shame that a fine officer like Todd Tyo had to be put through the indignity and cost of an arrest, job termination and trial based on unsupported allegations of two vindictive supervisors.” said Cohen.

Tyo will now be seeking his job back, and restoration of back pay and seniority.


This release was submitted by Hogan Willig, Attorneys at Law.


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