Jefferson County, CO – A former Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office (JCSO) detention deputy faces several felony charges, after she allegedly carried on a sexual relationship with an inmate and smuggled contraband into the jail facility.
Former JCSO Detention Deputy Myriah Lovato, 29, became the subject of the criminal investigation on Dec. 22, 2018, after other deputies were made aware of “allegations of employee misconduct,” Jefferson County Sheriff Jeff Shrader said in a video release.
Later that same day, Lovato was placed on unpaid administrative leave, pending the outcome of the investigation.
A warrant for her arrest was issued on Jan. 18, and Lovato turned herself in later that evening.
“As a result of the investigation, Lavato is facing multiple charges for developing an inappropriate relationship with an inmate and bringing contraband into the county jail,” Sheriff Shrader explained.
The former detention deputy faces felony charges of first-degree introducing contraband, unlawful possession of a controlled substance, sexual conduct in a correctional institution, and two counts of second-degree introducing contraband.
She has also been charged with misdemeanor offenses, including three counts of first-degree official misconduct and two counts of possession of drug paraphernalia.
Lovato submitted her resignation on Jan. 2, just over two weeks before she was charged.
She had been with JCSO since Jan. 7, 2016, and graduated from the POST academy the following June, according to the department.
She was thereafter assigned to the Detention Services Division.
“It is extremely disheartening and frustrating when one of our own becomes the subject of an investigation,” Sheriff Shrader said. “More disheartening is that this has subjected other deputies, as well as the inmate population, to additional and unnecessary risk.”
The sheriff noted that all department employees have a duty to uphold the law, and that they always aim to serve the community with “integrity, excellence, and respect.”
“Unfortunately, it appears one of our own has failed in this regard,” he continued. “But the men and the women of the sheriff’s office are committed and will continue to work to make Jefferson County a safe place for all people to live, learn, work, and play.”