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Denver sheriff’s deputy fired for letting inmates order food into jail — which they used to smuggle drugs

Derrek Peterson is not believed to have known about the drug-smuggling scheme
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Posted at 5:59 PM, May 03, 2022
and last updated 2022-05-03 19:59:37-04

A Denver sheriff’s deputy was fired after allowing two inmates — including one suspected of murder — to order burritos and Chinese food into the jail from outside restaurants, which the inmates then used to smuggle drugs into the facility.

Derrek Peterson was fired Friday following an eight-month investigation that found he did not know that the inmates were using the food delivery to bring in drugs, but that he violated multiple policies by allowing them to order the food, according to a disciplinary letter obtained by The Denver Post through a public records request.

The food was purportedly ordered and delivered through Uber Eats or Grubhub, according to the letter. One of the inmates said he had a relative that worked for one of the food delivery services.

The two inmates, identified in the letter only by their initials TL and DW, distributed the smuggled drugs to others in the Denver Downtown Detention Facility in July. Investigators believe the drugs contributed to another inmate’s attempted suicide, which he survived.

“Although thankfully, (the suicidal inmate) survived, the possibilities of what could have been smuggled in, and the potential dangers that could have been caused, are endless,” wrote Carl McEncroe, civilian review administrator at the Denver Department of Public Safety. “Deputy Peterson’s loss of objectivity in trusting TL and DW to the point where he would have allowed them to personally order ‘food’ from outside the jail is an act so serious that it demonstrates Deputy Peterson’s lack of fitness to continue holding the position of Denver deputy sheriff.”

Read the full story from our partners at The Denver Post.