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Ex-Colorado sheriff accused of offering meth for sex

December 1, 2011 |  6:00 am

SullivanFormer Colorado Sheriff Patrick Sullivan, once named the nation’s sheriff of the year, is in jail after he was arrested in a sting for allegedly attempting to trade methamphetamine for sex with a male customer.

Sullivan, 68, was arrested Tuesday and appeared in court Wednesday in an orange jail uniform, walking with a cane, according to the Associated Press. A judge raised his bail to $500,000 and sent him to the Arapahoe County jail named after him.

Sullivan faces a charge of unlawful distribution, manufacturing, dispensing or sale of a controlled substance. If convicted, he could face up to six years in prison.

Sullivan became sheriff in 1984 and by the time he retired had won praise as a hero in the Denver suburbs. In 1989, he rescued two deputies during a gunman's rampage. He participated in a statewide meth task force in 2000 and a year later was named the country's sheriff of the year.

After he retired, Sullivan worked as director of safety and security for Cherry Creek Schools in 2002, retiring in 2008.

“This isn’t the Pat I know,” Peg Ackerman, a lobbyist for the County Sheriffs of Colorado, told the Associated Press.

Arapahoe County Sheriff Grayson Robinson, who took over from Sullivan in 2002 and worked as an undersheriff with him beginning in 1997, said the department was shocked and saddened at his arrest.

"This shows that no one is above the law, particularly a current or a former peace officer," Robinson told the Denver Post.

Robinson said Sullivan had an ongoing relationship with the man he was with when arrested as well as other men he had a history of bonding out of local jails. According to 9 News in Denver, the investigation into Sullivan's activities in recent years is ongoing.

Sullivan became the focus of Tuesday's sting after investigators received a tip Oct. 4 from a home in Centennial, Colo., according to an arrest affidavit.

Two confidential informants told investigators that Sullivan was dealing meth but would sell only to those who slept with him.

During the sting, Sullivan allegedly handed someone a bag of meth and had another bag on him when he was searched, both bags weighing less than a gram, according to the affidavit.

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-- Molly Hennessy-Fiske in Mission, Texas

Photo: Retired Arapahoe County Sheriff Patrick Sullivan in a booking mug shot. Sullivan, once the national sheriff of the year, made his first court appearance Wednesday. Credit: Arapahoe County Sheriff's Office/Reuters

 

 

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