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Press Release

Former Denver County Deputy Sheriff Sentenced to 51 Months in Prison for Aiding Drug Trafficking

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of Colorado

Denver – The United States Attorney’s Office for the District of Colorado announces Sylvia Montoya, aka Sylvia Dominguez, age 49, of Lakewood, Colorado, was sentenced to 51 months in prison after earlier pleading guilty to maintaining a residence for the purpose of distributing illegal narcotics.

According to the plea agreement, on March 6, 2019, the defendant’s vehicle was being driven by her associate and co-defendant, when it was stopped by an Aurora Police Officer for a window tint violation. After a K-9 positively alerted to the odor of narcotics, the defendant’s vehicle was seized pending the issuance of a search warrant. Inside the glovebox of the vehicle, officers found a stolen, loaded handgun, a digital scale with residual cocaine powder, 8 grams of methamphetamine, and 1.64 grams of cocaine.

Denver Police detectives had been separately investigating the defendant due to her employment as a Denver Sheriff’s deputy and had observed the defendant and her co-defendant together on several occasions.

On March 28, 2019, Denver police officers saw the defendant drive away from a Lakewood apartment with her co-defendant in the passenger seat. Officers stopped the vehicle and arrested the passenger on an outstanding warrant for firearm and drug possession. A search located three cell phones, $3,150 cash, and a key to the apartment. A K-9 alerted to the presence of narcotics within the vehicle and officers searched the passenger compartment. Inside the center console of the vehicle, they found a clear plastic baggie containing a white powdery residue and $3,000 cash. The defendant stipulates the $3,000 cash seized was proceeds from the sale of drugs.

Denver Police detectives then obtained a search warrant for the defendant’s apartment. They discovered 102 grams of cocaine, 8 grams of heroin, 27 grams of methamphetamine, four digital scales, $1,342 cash, a dinner plate with suspected cocaine residue, and drug paraphernalia.

U.S. District Court Judge William J. Martinez sentenced Montoya on August 5, 2022. 

“It is the actions of people like the defendant that make it harder for those in law enforcement for the right reasons to do their jobs and gain the public’s trust,” said U.S. Attorney Cole Finegan. “This sentence should make clear to the community that no one is above the law.”

This case was investigated by the Denver Police Department. Assistant U.S. Attorney Celeste Rangel prosecuted the case.

Case number: 19-cr-00264


Deborah Takahara
Public Affairs Specialist

Updated August 5, 2022

Drug Trafficking