Kentucky woman sentenced for transporting stolen firearm used to kill a deputy sheriff

Published 10:30 am Wednesday, July 19, 2023

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A Calloway County woman was sentenced Tuesday at U.S. District Court in Paducah to 18 months in federal prison for illegally transporting a stolen firearm, which was eventually used to kill a Kentucky law enforcement officer in 2022.

According to court documents and the U.S Attorney’s office for the Western District of Kentucky, Denise Collins, 35, illegally transported and received a firearm stolen outside of the state of Kentucky on April 25, 2022. The firearm, a Sig Sauer, model P365 XL, .9-millimeter semi-automatic pistol, was a stolen firearm transported from Tennessee to Kentucky by Collins, aided and abetted by Gary Rowland.

The weapon was ultimately used by Rowland to shoot and kill Calloway County Chief Deputy Sheriff Jody Cash on May 16, 2022.

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“The tragic murder of Chief Deputy Cash serves as a stark reminder for all Kentuckians of the sacrifices made daily by those who wear the badge and keep our communities safe,” said U.S. Attorney Michael A. Bennett. “Along with our federal, state and local law enforcement partners, we will continue to strategically investigate and aggressively prosecute those who violate federal firearms laws so that the Western District is safer for all who live and work here.”

This case was investigated by the ATF with the assistance from the Kentucky State Police, the Murray Police Department, the McCracken County Sheriff’s Office, and the Paris Tennessee Police Department.

“Kentucky lost a hero, a man who dedicated his life to serving the Commonwealth, when Calloway County Chief Deputy Jody Cash was murdered,” said ATF Special Agent in Charge Morrow. “This is a terrible reminder of what can happen when a firearm ends up in the hands of someone prohibited from possessing them. ATF is committed to combatting firearms trafficking and the violence it can cause in our communities. I commend the ATF case agents, the prosecution team and our law enforcement partners, who worked together to bring some sense of justice to Deputy Cash and his family.”

Collins will also have three years of supervised release following the competition of her term in prison.