3 Denver sheriff's deputies reassigned amid investigation into release of suspect wanted by ICE

Posted at 5:53 PM, Mar 14, 2018
and last updated 2018-03-15 14:31:05-04

DENVER – Three Denver sheriff’s deputies have been reassigned amid an investigation into how an undocumented man suspected of killing a man in a deadly hit-and-run crash was able to bond out of jail and U.S. immigration officials were notified of his pending release.

Denver Public Safety Director Troy Riggs confirmed to Denver7’s Jace Larson Wednesday afternoon the three deputies had been reassigned.

Earlier this week, Denver Sheriff Patrick Firman admitted the department “made a mistake” in releasing Ivan Zamarripa-Castaneda, 26, before notifying U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement officers, as is city policy when ICE requests notification that an inmate is set to be released.

There is an ongoing investigation as to why the notification process was not followed before Zamarripa-Castaneda’s release. He has not been rearrested by ICE.

He is accused of driving impaired and slamming into truck driver John Anderson, 57, of Lone Tree. Anderson died in the truck after it caught fire, and Zamarripa-Castaneda fled the scene before he was arrested about 12 hours later.

The sheriff’s department said Wednesday evening it was “not unusual to reassign deputies from current duties to other areas, when the underlying conduct under review is related to that particular assignment.”

“The internal review will be all inclusive looking at all aspects of the release notification process. As I’m sure you understand, it is not appropriate to speculate on an ongoing investigation,” said sheriff’s department spokesperson Daria Serna in a statement.

ICE Denver Field Office Director Jeffrey Lynch said earlier this week that the Denver Sheriff’s Office typically gives ICE two hours’ notice that an inmate is to be released from jail, and said he was “comfortable” that the sheriff’s department was reviewing its process for releasing inmates held on detainers. 

The sheriff’s office says it typically gets between 15 and 17 requests to notify ICE of a release each month.