The investigation that led to the arrest of former Arapahoe County Sheriff Patrick J. Sullivan Jr. in a meth-for-sex scandal began when a man called 911 in September to complain that an "old guy" was getting his recovering-addict roommates "back into drugs."
When the man told Sullivan to leave his Centennial home or he would call police, he said Sullivan replied, "If you want the police, I am the police," and flashed a badge, according to a sheriff's report obtained by 7NEWS on Wednesday.
The man told a 911 dispatcher that Sullivan then left the home with the man's three roommates.
Sullivan Caught On Hidden Camera Offering Meth
Sullivan was arrested Tuesday after investigators used a hidden video camera to capture him offering methamphetamine to the informants in the bedroom of an Aurora home, according to an arrest affidavit released Wednesday. During a search of Sullivan's Littleton home, investigators seized two computers, including one containing adult male pornography.
The 68-year-old Sullivan, clad in an orange jumpsuit, plastic sandals and shackles, used a cane as he walked into Centennial courtroom Wednesday morning.
"I wish it was under better circumstances," the former 18-year sheriff said as he shook hands with his defense attorneys, his hands shackled to his waist.
At the request of prosecutors, a judge raised Sullivan's bail from $250,000 to $500,000.
Stunning Reversal For Former National Sheriff Of The Year
Sullivan is being held at the Patrick J. Sullivan Jr. Detention Facility, named in his honor by the Arapahoe County Commissioners when he retired in 2002.
The arrest on drug trafficking charges is a stunning reversal for Sullivan, who was named Sheriff of the Year in 2001 by the National Sheriffs' Association. President Bill Clinton also named Sullivan in 1995 to the National Commission on Crime Prevention and Control.
The scandal could expand dramatically.
Radio show host Tom Martino and his producer, Jonathan Elinoff, told the Peter Boyles show on KHOW Wednesday that they interviewed about six young men who were involved in a sex-for-drugs ring that involved Sullivan and others.
A woman who appeared on the KHOW show said, "Pat (Sullivan) has bought dope for several people that I know
to help get in the mood."
She said Sullivan also used drugs.
"I can describe the inside of his house," the woman said, adding that they would smoke drugs in Sullivan's home when his wife was gone.
Neighbor: 'I Have A Lot Of Respect' For Sullivan
Sullivan's longtime neighbor Leonor Ferrand told 7NEWS she stands behind the retired lawman, saying they often greet each other when she walks her dog.
"I don't believe it," she said of the accusations against Sullivan.
She called Sullivan "the best person in the world," saying he always helping people.
"I have a lot of respect for him," Ferrand said.
A joint investigation by the sheriff's office and the South Metro Drug Task Force led to two confidential informants. The affidavit does not identify the informants by name or gender.
"Both confidential informants advised (task force Agent Matt Hanagan) that they had engaged in sexual activity with Sullivan in the past and Sullivan provided them methamphetamine during past encounters," Hanagan wrote in the affidavit.
Former Arapahoe County Sheriff Patrick Sullivan appears in a jail jumpsuit during his first court appearance on Nov. 30, 2011.
An investigator had the informants make several monitored phones calls and exchange texts messages with Sullivan, engaging him in conversations about obtaining methamphetamine and setting up a meeting between the former sheriff and the informants, the affidavit said.
Sullivan agreed to meet the informant Tuesday at a home at 16392 Ada Place in Aurora, the affidavit said.
Hidden audio-video equipment captured Sullivan "physically handing what appeared to be methamphetamine to (the informants) in the bedroom of the residence," the affidavit said. Investigators moved in and arrested the ex-sheriff without incident.
Investigators confirmed the two bags seized at the home held meth totaling about seven-tenths of a gram, worth about $70.
A neighbor of the Ada Place house where Sullivan was arrested said she'd seen him pull up to the home in his car about three times previously.
"I'd seen him at the house before not knowing who he was," said Amanda Cardenas.
Sullivan Explains He Was Working On Drug Task Force
After the witness at the Centennial house called 911 to complain about Sullivan on Sept. 20, the former sheriff called dispatchers several hours later.
Sullivan explained to a deputy investigating that 911 call that he was "on a meth drug task force and helps recovering addicts get clean," the deputy's report said. Sullivan also claimed he was working for a state health department drug treatment program.
Sullivan said the man who called 911 is "jealous" of his recovering-addict roommates because the man had been kicked out of a treatment program.
Sullivan Had 'Caretaker' Role With Young Addicts
On Wednesday, CALL7 Investigator Theresa Marchetta spoke with the man who owns that Centennial home
The landlord, Derek Hendrickson, said he's a recovering meth addict who was trying to help others by renting his home to addicts trying to reclaim their lives.
His only rule for the young men living there: no drugs.
Hendrickson said Sullivan was at his house often, at least seven or eight times over the past couple of months. The landlord said the former lawman was hanging out with renters who he'd repeatedly seen use meth in the house.
"What was (Sullivan's) relationship with your tenants?" Marchetta asked.
"From what I understood, (Sullivan) had a sexual relationship with them, and he would use meth to get sex from young men," Hendrickson said.
Sullivan had a "caretaker" role with three recovering addicts living in the Centennial home and regularly took them grocery shopping, according to a deputy's report.
The former sheriff had an especially complicated relationship with 34-year-old William "Willy" Hadley.
On the night of the Sept. 20 dispute at the Centennial home, Sullivan told a deputy he had power-of-attorney for Hadley, allowing Sullivan to make legal decisions on the younger man's behalf. Sullivan told the deputy he "gets William's Social Security checks and gives him money and takes him shopping when needed," the deputy's report said.
"(Sullivan) was Willy's guardian," Hendrickson said.
Sullivan Obtained Restraining Order Against Young Man
Yet, in July 2010, Sullivan obtained a permanent protection ordered barring Hadley from communicating with him or coming within 50 yards of the former sheriff, the report said.
Sullivan told a deputy that he got the protection order "after William had made aggressive comments toward him while Patrick was assisting him with his rehabilitation," the report said.
Yet, when Sullivan contacted Hadley on Sept. 20, Sullivan said he thought the protection order had expired.
Deputies arrested Hadley that night for violating the protection order by going near Sullivan.
Sullivan Had Electronic Key Card To Namesake Jail
But the next day, Sullivan marched into his namesake jail, waving a court order and demanding that deputies expedite Hadley's release, a deputy's report said.
When a front desk staffer at the jail asked Sullivan for his name, he gave it and said, "I'm the man this building is named after,'" the report said.
Sullivan repeatedly attempted to get into the jail administration area, pulling on the door several times, saying, "I need to get in
Let me talk to (a jail official)."
Until recently, Sullivan had an electronic card key that allowed him to enter the Sheriff's Office. Marchetta learned Wednesday the pass key was recently revoked and there was a "No Trespass" alert placed on the ex-sheriff.
As Sullivan tried to free Hadley, he demanded to speak to a Capt. Vince Sauter, saying, "Am I going to see the captain or not?" according to the report.
The desk staffer explained that Sauter was busy in a meeting.
Sauter sent Sgt. Tammy Vienot to speak with Sullivan in the jail lobby.
The former sheriff showed Vienot a judge's order, saying it vacated the protection order he had against Hadley, Vienot wrote in a report.
Sullivan said he'd been waiting two hours for Hadley's release and that the man "has to be moved to the front of he line," the report said.
Sullivan said he "wants (Hadley) released immediately or I'll file a complaint against the Sheriff's Office," Vienot noted in the report.
Vienot checked and told Sullivan the judge's order only lifted the protection order, it did not require Hadley's release from jail, the report said.
Complaining about an "abuse of process," Sullivan said he'd go to an ATM to get money to pay Hadley's $750 bond," the report said.
Hendrickson, the landlord, said Sullivan threw his weight around with him, too.
He said the former sheriff threatened to have him arrested if Hendrickson didn't let two of the young men live rent free in his home.
"Were you afraid of him, intimidated by him?" Marchetta asked.
"Absolutely. I thought he was an evil person, an evil man," Hendrickson said.
Sheriff Robinson Calls Charges Against Former Boss 'Disturbing'
The allegations of criminal behavior involving Pat Sullivan are extraordinarily disturbing, said the current sheriff, Grayson Robinson. "While the arrest of the former sheriff is very troubling, the Arapahoe County Sheriffs Office continues to ensure that those who are responsible for criminal behavior and the victimization of our community will be held accountable by the criminal justice system. No one, and particularly a current or a former peace officer, is above the law. The Arapahoe County Sheriffs Office has always demonstrated a solid commitment to our community and to public safety. This is a very sad time for the Arapahoe County Sheriffs Office and our community.
Sullivan served as the Arapahoe County sheriff from 1984 until his retirement in 2002. Robinson was Sullivan's undersheriff and became sheriff when Sullivan retired.
The current sheriff, Grayson Robison, said there will be more arrests and the investigation is ongoing.
7NEWS reporter Tyler Lopez said he interviewed someone at the Arapahoe County courthouse Wednesday who claimed a family member may have contracted the HIV virus from Sullivan.
Robinson told Lopez, "If we find that, we will look further at it."
"If anyone believes that's the case," Robinson said, "they should contact us."
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