Drug War

Colorado Drug Warrior Busted for Meth Distribution


Patrick J. Sullivan Jr., a widely admired lawman who served as sheriff of Arapahoe County, Colorado, from 1984 until his retirement in 2002, was arrested yesterday and charged with trying to trade methamphetamine for sex. The Denver Post describes the sting that led to the bust:

An investigative report filed in court in support of Sullivan's arrest says officers from the South Metro Drug Task Force, including Arapahoe deputies, used confidential informants and audio and video surveillance in the investigation.

According to the court papers:

After a complaint in early October to the Arapahoe sheriff's office that an "unwanted party" was at a home in Centennial, a deputy arrived and identified the person there as the former sheriff.

Agent Matt Hanagan of the drug task force was brought in to the case and asked two confidential informants who worked with the task force whether they thought they could purchase methamphetamine from Sullivan. Both of them said they had engaged in sex acts with Sullivan in the past and said they would be willing to ask him for meth in exchange for a sex act.

After several phone calls and text messages, Sullivan agreed to meet one of the men at an Aurora home and bring meth to exchange for sex.

Officers set up audio and video surveillance at the house and, Tuesday afternoon, Sullivan arrived and was seen to hand suspected meth to the informant.

He was taken into custody and officers found additional suspected meth — a total of 0.7 grams.

Sullivan was booked into the jail that bears his name [i.e., the Patrick J. Sullivan Jr. Detention Facility in Centennial] on a charge of unlawful distribution, manufacturing, dispensing or sale of a controlled substance. The Class 5 felony carries a penalty of up to six years in prison.

This sort of sleazy setup is an egregious waste of law enforcement resources, and it is manifestly unjust to threaten someone with six years in prison for attempting a peaceful, entirely consensual transaction with another adult. But that is par for the course in the war on drugs, a cause Sullivan enthusiastically served for many years. He led opposition to a 1998 medical marijuana initiative and called asset forfeiture "an incredible tool" in the battle againt meth. The Post notes that "he participated in a statewide meth task force in 2000," and his deputies served on the same South Metro Drug Task Force that arrested him. Among other accomplishments, they helped bust 17 people on drug charges at a 2000 rave at Aurora Airpark. In March 2001, a few weeks after the National Sheriffs' Association named Sullivan Sheriff of the Year, he bragged that the task force had caught a 19-year-old in an Arvada motel with 4,000 MDMA pills worth $100,000. Sullivan declared that "recoveries of large quantities of Ecstasy within the last 10 days along the Front Range of Colorado and Wyoming is a clear indicator of the prevalence and availability of this dangerous drug in our community." According to the Post, the suspect was charged with four felonies, each "punishable by four to 48 years in prison."

[Thanks to Ari Armstrong for the tip.]

NEXT: Matt Welch & Nick Gillespie Among "The Only Pundits You Need To Pay Attention To Between Now And The Election"

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  1. Hahahaha. I hate the WoD, except when one of it’s biggest proponents gets caught being a fucking hypocrite.

    I hope the cocksucker gets 6 years.

    1. Want to bet he gets “professional courtesy”?

      1. Doubt it. Some DA’s gonna make a reputation as a hard-ass drug warrior by hammering the fuck out of this guy.

        1. And then sheriff drug warrior is going to lose his hard ass when some guy hammers the fuck out of it.

        2. Depends if his LEO ‘brothers’ lean on the prosecutor and his campaign fund.

          1. He’s been gone for 9 years. That’s half a generation for LEO’s.

            Nope. He’s well and truly fucked.

            1. ah, the cops never go against one of their own meme.


              1. “He’s well and truly fucked.”

                “ah, the cops never go against one of their own meme.”

                Is it that you can’t fucking read, or that you’re an idiot?

    2. first offense for a class 5 felony? astonishingly unlikely he gets 6 yrs.

      in WA, he’d get probation assuming it was a first offense, if he got standard sentencing

      1. Yeah, but this guy screams, “EXAMPLE”. I am guessing he gets some serious time, maybe not the full six years, but some years.

        I am conflicted here. I hate the WOD, but it is tasty when an avowed drug warrior gets nabbed.

        1. i believe in equal treatment, thus i think he SHOULD get the same sentence as any other first time offender, which would be no jail time (as confirmed by a local attorney below)

          however, i agree that judges often give cops much stiffer sentences than an average person would get for a similar crime, EVEN an off duty crime, or in this case, perpetrated by a guy who is NOT a cop, but is still going to be possibly held to that standard since he once was one, and a high profile, high ranking drug warrior at that.

          people love shadenfreude and reasonoids love revenge.

          i suspect he will get jail time, although i think that unjust.

          i ALSO think the drug war is unjust, but two wrongs don’t make a right

          1. people love shadenfreude and reasonoids love revenge justice.

            Those whom the gods would destroy…

  2. I’ve talked to a lot of people about the WoD, and the only person who claimed to support it was a weed dealer at the time.

    1. Mid size Texas grower here. I find the community has a wide range of opinions. Many have to live in fear because cops could stop taking bribes at any time. I personally like my job, but many would trade making less money in exchange for not having a prison threat.

      1. No chance you’re in the D/FW area, is there?

        1. No chance a grower in Texas is going to share that info.

          1. Probably, but I had to ask 🙁

            Hookups are hard to come by around here.

            1. A hookup is hard to come by in D/FW?


              Go to ANY club on ANY night and you’ll find more hookups than you know what to do with.

              1. *sad face* Maybe I look like a narc or something, cause I ain’t had that experience.

            2. I’m sure if you trek down to Pleasant Grove you can find something. Wouldn’t recommend it though…

              1. …or Occupy Dallas?

                1. Then I’d have to talk to an occutard. Still, it’s the best idea I’ve heard all night.

                  1. My brother goes to El Centro and he basically says the whole thing is just an elaborate excuse for kids to hang out and get baked.

              2. …Ain’t nothin’ pleasant ’bout the Grove…

      2. I’ve also come across a wide range of opinions among growers and dealers. Never heard about anybody making bribes though…

        Some favor an end to the drug war while recognizing their own income would take a huge hit (50%+). Most of the guys I knew didn’t have much in the way of education or skills to fall back on. A few of them though were fairly thrifty and had socked away some money. I would say the majority hoped for the status quo to continue. It reminded me of the article in The Onion’s ‘Our Dumb Century’ where Al Capone and Lucky Luciano testify before Congress on the importance of continuing Prohibition.

    2. Believe it or not Christina, I ran into one just the other day…and it turns out it’s one of my best friends.

      The subject had simply never come up before, but it turns out he believes the rights and needs of society trump those of the individual. Since drugs allow a person to waste their lives in meaninglessness, and can become addictive to younger persons who may not know better at the time, no amount of bloodshed or money is too great to combat it, forever.

      He willingly and openly admitted that while he is troubled by all the dead Mexicans and cartels prohibition fuels, ultimately it’s still worth it.

      1. drugs allow a person to waste their lives in meaninglessness

        Just curious, Gojira. What does your friend do?

        1. He’s a private investigator for a law firm.

          His brother smoked weed in high school, then became an opiate adict later in life and just sort of drifts from one crap job to another, just long enough to get a few paychecks & keep the welfare coming. So he blames drugs for his brother’s problems, and actually thinks weed is a “gateway” drug, since it was chronologically first in his brother’s life.

          The guy is hopeless. I mean if you believe that the rights of the collective outweigh the rights of the individual, as he does, that’s just too big a philosophical divide to be bridged, so we don’t talk about politics.

          1. The guy is hopeless. I mean if you believe that the rights of the collective outweigh the rights of the individual, as he does, that’s just too big a philosophical divide to be bridged, so we don’t talk about politics.

            I find that if you can agree on some fundamental first principles, which inevitably you can if you look hard enough, you can slowly over time whittle down people’s defenses of the state and turn them libertarian. But it’s a very long-term project. I’m still working on a girl I’ve been bffs with since I was 10.

      2. drugs allow a person to waste their lives in meaninglessness

        Like sports, or TV, or gambling or alcohol, etc., etc….

        1. there are acceptable ways to engage your spare time and unacceptable ways.

          It’s obvious, isn’t it?

        2. I read this as “gamboling”. Too much H&R lurking for me

      3. Since drugs allow a person to waste their lives in meaninglessness

        In that case ban paper pushing for the state if you are defining legality as meaningful use of your time. Sheesh, do collectivist ever think this shit out to anything resembling rational consistency?

        1. defining the legality of an action with the criteria of meaningful use of your time.

      4. …but it turns out he believes the rights and needs of society trump those of the individual.

        Spoken like a true Collectivist asshole. Trump this, mother fucker.

  3. This just shows the need to redouble our efforts to control the evils of illegal drugs!

  4. Standard procedure.

    1. troll-o-meter: .01

      1. Just another bad-apple.

        1. he’s not even a cop, so he’s not an apple at all.

          1. “retired”

            Yeah he is asshole, he’s a RETIRED cop, which means you don’t get to try to wash your hands of him.

            1. i don’t wash my hands of anybody , sincei am no more responsible for other cops who happen to commit crimes, than a black guy is responsible for other blacks that do, a man is responsible for other men that do, or a skyrim fanatic is responsible for another skyrim fanatic committing a crime…

              but the reality is

              1) he is not a cop
              2) he once was a high profile “drug warrior cop”

              and he will probably be looked at with #2 in mind by a judge in regards to his getting a stiffer sentence and by reasonoid bigorati who get stiffies from seeing such a warrior fall from grace on his own drug warrior sword.

              1. Hubris, dunphy, hubris. Look it up sometime. It’s not just reasonoids; classical greek drama is rife with that shit.

                “Bigotry”, yeah, sure, whatever. Yawn.


    This is so Spitzer-like: caught by the laws he used and championed to fuck others with.

    Well…fuck you, Pat.

    1. And Spitzer didn’t go prison, he went to CNN. So I find it hard to laugh at him any more. In fact it makes me angry.

      Hope this cunt spends some time.

      1. Spitzer lost the thing most important to him: power. So I can still laugh, because he ain’t getting that back any time soon, if ever.

        1. I suppose, it’s just hard for me to understand the whole power being better than money thing that these fuckers have. I mean he’s gotta be making more now than he did as a politician.

          1. beyond a certain amount, money doesn’t really offer tangible day to day benefits. security? sure.

            power is different.

          2. He was already incredibly wealthy, dude. His dad is one of the biggest real estate magnates in Manhattan.

        2. Being a CNN pundit = loss of power? Yeah, I guess it’s not the same as being NY governor though.

  6. How odd that the cops didn’t give him the free passes usually awarded to former and current members of that particular gang.

    Sullivan agreed to meet one of the men at an Aurora home and bring meth to exchange for sex.

    Ahh, now I get it.

    1. If you’re going to be a hypocrite, you may as well go all in!

      1. Right on!

  7. Bro was a homo and an addict? Man, he is going to have fun time with that republican jury.

  8. “The bitch set me up!”

  9. asset forfeiture “an incredible tool” in the battle againt meth

    Apparently, so is esses forfeiture.

  10. i could cut the irony with a ladle. we had a word in hawaii for chix who would trade meth for sex… batunas

    (batu is a slang word for meth. comes from the tagolog word for “rock” iirc)

    tuna refers to … well… think “hauna punani”

    1. Cudos to you for knowing even a smidgeon of tagalog. Most people I know think they speak “Filipino”.

      1. thanks. pretty much a requirement in hawaii to speak da pidgin

        1. You can call it a “dove” if you like, but it’s still da pidgin.

  11. Charges haven’t been formally filed yet (and won’t be until Monday), but he’s accused of F3 Distribution of Methamphetamine, which carries a presumptive penalty of 4-12 years of prison (up to 24 years if he’s sentenced in the aggravated range). The Denver Post got their facts wrong.

    1. the issue is what the standard sentencing range is for first time offenders. i’ve never heard the term presumptive penalty, but most reasonoids (and articles) just look at the law, but never the sentencing range/matrix

      iow, in my state, the penalty for DUI is up to a year in jail

      however, for first offense, without aggravating factors, it’s probation… NO jail time and the conviction is wiped from your record upon completion of probation

      so, not knowing waht the term “presumptive penalty” means, what is relevant (if it’s not what presumptive penalty means) is what is the ACTUAL sentence given to first time offenders

      i can tell you in WA state, it’s probation

      1. IAAL (who does criminal defense in the aforementioned county). A first offense distribution would typically be pled down to either a deferred judgment or an attempted distribution with stipulated probation.

        That said, his status as a former Sheriff makes it somewhat less likely that he gets a typical plea bargain. Too high profile. The jail is named after him.

        1. right. that;’s my point. the standard sentence would net somebody NO jail time despite the posts about 6 yr sentences.

          otoh, the reason canard is that cops are always benefited by a double standard

          granted, this guy ISN’T cop, but the reasonoids are treating him like one .

          regardless if ANY double standard will apply here, it will be similar to the story i posted here recently where a cop got a 23 yr sentence for assault (where the standard would have been 1-2 yrs) BECAUSE he was a cop, despite the fact he did it off duty and it had nothing to do with his job

          in that respect, judges are often MUCH harsher on cops.

          i think that is JUST as wrong, as a cop getting more lenient treatment.

          it’s also a reality very few reasonoids will admit. that being a cop can get you much harsher penalties, even for a crime that had nothing to do with your official capacity

          i personally think this guy SHOULD get the exact same sentence any other first offender would get. i suggest you are correct, and he will get a harsher one

          many here will think that’s ok since he prosecuted others for drug crimes, it’s only fair (a reason type of revenge) that he gets much harsher treatment for the same crime others would get probation for

          again, i think he SHOULD get deferred or stipulated probation. he most likely will get some time, which would be a perfect example of a double standard – a harsher one for cops (and in this case, former cops)

          1. “otoh, the reason canard is that cops are always benefited by a double standard”

            No liar, it isn’t, that’s just the straw man you whack at when you see a cop get busted for meth.

            Why are you such a disingenuous asshole?

            1. yawn. it most definitely is the canard here.

            2. Dunphy is right. Cops sometimes get harsh treatment because they should ‘know better.’

              If you think Dunphy is an a-hole, what must you think about regular cops? Dunphy is reasonable and logical. Sure he takes the cops’ side a bit, but what dan you expect?

              1. that’s a fair cop, mate!

  12. Extremely OT, but I know a lot of people on here are into this shit:

    Turns out we may have left Africa a lot earlier, and by a different route, than commonly supposed.

    1. What’s this “we” shit, Jim. You got a mouse in your pocket?

      1. Sorry, I didn’t mean to assume we were all modern humans. I’m a collectivist.

        1. My Homo neanderthalensis brothers forgive you.

    2. Interesting, but it doesn’t really change the timeline. A first migration to Australia at least 75 kya followed long after by one into Eurasia has been the most plausible theory for a while. And “far inland” is an odd phrase to describe anywhere in Oman.

  13. what is interesting is that while the drug charges will likely hold up , the (cheezy misdemeanor ones) of soliciting prostitution won’t most likely?


    itfpapits is true, it’s because the informant asked him for meth in exchange for sex.

    that would be viewed as entrapment or at least an unchargable case vis a vis soliciting a prostitute.

    iow, if a person approaches and says “i’ll give you a blowjob for a rock of crack” and you agree, you can’t be charged for soliciting prostitution. because you didn’t. the prostitute did.

  14. Good thing he wasn’t a 63 year old and 120 lb diabetic black man standing in his own yard. He may have been treated more roughly.

    1. or he may not have. considering that we have no idea what actually happened. we know what the man claims and what the police claim

      did he claim he was pregnant too? and miscarried? because of course it MUST be true if it’s an allegation against police.

      1. Is running a stop sign even a bookable offense? Or was it the contempt of cop that got him? And here’s another story on the same beating.

        FTA: The Tribune report indicated that police claim Edmonds was combative and kept fighting after he was injured.

        Yeah, all 120 lbs of him.

        And here is a better pic.

        1. generally no. and generally irrelevant

          the cop CLAIM isn’t that he merely ran a stop sign. in almost all jurisdictions, that’s a nonbookable civil infraction.

          the CLAIM is…”An officer claims Edmonds ran a stop sign and sped off. The officer says he caught up with Edmonds and says Edmonds had parked his car and was walking toward his house. The officer says Edmonds resisted arrest and that is when a fight between the two started. ”

          at a minimum, refusing to stop and speeding off would constitute a gross misdemeanor in my jurisdiction. depending on circs, it could also be eluding, a C felony. both are arrestable.

          also, the parking his car and then heading towards the door is not uncommon. in fact, it’s so common we refer to it as the “home base” principle. a fair amount of suspects will run to their house. then run, or yes… walk inside. hey, HOME BASE!!

          again, this may be police misconduct. it may be entirely the arrestees fault. i have no idea. nor do you

          1. “i have no idea. nor do you”

            This is what you don’t get.

            It’s almost never acceptable for a citizen to end their interaction with a cop looking like that.

            NOTHING you listed, in consideration of KNOWN FACTS, justifies it or could justify.

            In short, becuase you’re a cop and they IQ test to prevent people who are too intellignet from joining,


            The fact that you don;t get that is why you’re despised and ridiculed.

            1. again, results based analysis. why am i not surprised.

  15. Couldn’t have happened to a nicer guy.

  16. or he may not have.


    You have an ever-growing secret hoard of “Cop Beats The Living Fuck Out Of Other Cop He Suspects Of Crime” stories to balance out the dozens of “Cop Smashes The Skull Of Non-Cop He Doesn’t Like The Looks Of” stories that happen every single day.

    So really it’s 50/50.

    1. no, you have a metric assload of plaintiffs make claims that are false, exaggerated, etc.

      i realize if it’s a complaint against a cop, it MUST be true, because that’s how bigots operate.

      i have no idea if it’s true. like most stories, there are the two sides, and then there is the objective reality which may be relatively close to either side’s narrative or somewhere in the middle. and we have no idea which

      the difference between us is i don’t assume truth based on the fact it comes from a person complaining about the police, just like i don’t assume truth because it comes from the police.

      considering how many officers i see get completely exonerated based on false complaints (all the better with video), i take such complaints with skepticism. IF true, it’s a compelling story. but at this point, that’s ALL it is. a story. a claim

      1. the difference between us is i don’t assume truth based on the fact it comes from a person complaining about the police, just like i don’t assume truth because it comes from the police.

        Really? Seems to me, and I would imagine the vast majority of posters on here, that you always err on the side of the person wearing the shiny little badge on their police costume.

        1. it seems that way to you, because you are a bigot who sees what he wants to see.

          cognitive dissonance is hardly a novel concept.

          what i err on the side on is evidence. when there are two conflicting he said/she said accounts, i wait for… evidence.

          when a case is obvious that the cop did bad, i say so – UC Davis, the paul schene case, etc.

          where it’s not obvious the term i have used is “i remain AGNOSTIC”. iow, i don’t come to a conclusion.

        2. Having lurked for some months now, it seems to me that dunphy thinks and writes in a balanced way. I appreciate his insight and experience. Just sayin,…

  17. awesome cop tackle and pepper spraying.

    but no taser 🙁


    1. Just like the garbage man, city auditor, librarian, or capital projects coordinator; police officer quietly do your job, and get your paycheck.

  18. Thank God for professional courtesy. In the interest of justice, of course.

    What another load of shit double standard.

    1. your obsession is getting a little old. i get it. you don’t like cops. other than that it’s just a trollin…

      1. How is it trolling when I simply link to a story?

        Listen, fuckface. I link these stories here for everybody else. They aren’t for you. Hell, if you drove off a cliff tomorrow and ended up a vegetable, I would keep posting these stories…because it’s important to expose the double-standards and hypocrisy that occur on a daily basis in our nation’s police forces.

        Please don’t think of yourself as more important to me than a piece of toilet paper I just wiped my asshole clean with.

        1. it’s trolling. you don’t like cops. i ph33l your butthurt. get over yourself. i get it … it’s a mean horrible world out there. cops are mean and corrupt and it’s unfair and you are here to tell us the truth about how awful it is

          and when stats, etc. are given to show you that in fact, cops are remarkably restrained with force, etc. you ignore them

          regardless i am sure your mama will heat you up some hot pockets and wipe yer ass for ya, and it will all be better

          maybe some hot cocoa too!

          1. Haha. Whatever, dude.

            If you don’t like the stories I post, then stop replying to them. Especially the follow-up’s where the charges against the alleged perp are dropped and the defense for brutality shrivels up and dies, yet the cop doing the beating gets off with an administrative penalty.

            I’m sorry if I believe in penalizing people the same regardless of what their job is. Your love for the double-standard is foreign to me, so it could perhaps explain some of my disdain for you.

            But it certainly doesn’t diminish it.

  19. Rapeaho County

    1. Just to give everyone a sense of what kind of jurisdiction Arapahoe County is, this article is enlightening.

        1. Dang it if that Carol Chambers ain’t a real cunt and a half.

          A couple of minor drug offenses and yer lookin’ at 50 fucking years, fuck me, those fucking people are sadists. I will stay the fuck away from Arapahell county for the rest of my days.

        2. Next time, link to the print version. I ain’t clicking through to five pages just to give the bastards more ad revenue for page views.

      1. It’s a non-existant phantom district? Because that’s all I can grok from your link.

      2. Ack, I didn’t refresh. I stand humiliated.

  20. Hey Dipshit Dunphy,

    Cop kills pot smoker, posters on Police One laugh.


    Fuck you, drug warrior.

    1. waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaahhhhh!

      1. Finally, a completely honest post from dunphy. Well done, Sir. Now here’s your “paci”; now crawl off and play quietly.

    2. oh, and i am no more a “drug warrior” than an MD or pharmacist is


  21. I wish that every poster on police one would get metastatic penile cancer.

    1. well, in your case, such a condition would require precise microsurgery to remove… (cymbal crash)

  22. And die as dickless as Dunphy.

  23. Sullivan was booked into the jail that bears his name [i.e., the Patrick J. Sullivan Jr. Detention Facility in Centennial]

    This entire post is a buffet-at-the-Bellagio-level feast of delicious irony.

  24. lol, OK is anyone actually surprised by this? I mean seriously.


  25. That fuckface should have a bullet put through his skull. It’s time to start slaughtering the pigs!

    1. No thanks.

  26. And Mel Brooks continues writing the screenplay of life…

  27. I like how docs and pharmacists, after 20 years of bullying by cops and over-zealous prosecutors, are now labeled ‘drug warriors’. I’m sure that Barney Fife and his puppy assassination squad love being lumped in with some smart people for once, but did it ever occur to anyone that maybe medical professionals turned snitch out of fear and not because they get an erection from locking people up?

    You see it’s hard to get a medical degree, so I can understand someone not wanting to throw away 1000’s of hours of very hard work on the chance that some pill head kid is going to end up dead with a bottle of your prescription thereby bringing the wrath of the real drug warriors. (and no dunphy, masters in criminal justice are not hard to obtain; one step up from a teaching degree)

    Now, the fact that some medical professionals are treating an essentially medical problem with cops and guns makes them scum, but let’s not pretend that they’re on team jack-booted baby burners out of some drug warrior mentality.

    Oh, dunphy would you arrest me if you pulled me over and I had a couple of pounds of weed in the passenger seat?

    If so then you’re a drug warrior. No ifs, ands, or buts about it, sorry.


  29. Justice demands that he serve one year for every time he testified for the prosecution in a drug or prostitution case. He’ll be eligible for parole at age 1043.

  30. If you want to read the original story from the investigator who actually worked on the story for many months and broke it before anyone else, not to mention all the facts about the case and allegations that the Denver Post failed to mention (probably because it wasn’t their story to begin with), then I suggest you check out this link and see what all this is about http://www.newworldorderreport…..aoded.aspx

  31. GOT WHAT HE DESERVED. As a law enforcement officer (albeit retired) he knew better. And i feel that when law enforcement officers go bad the deserve much much stiffer sentences than regular folks.
    I am an ex-con (1 time offense and i didnt know what i did was illegal..knew it was wrong but not illegal) and i have many friends who are cops and dont know this about me. AND most of them feel the same as i do. they think that officers gone bad like this (judges and D.A’s too) deserve harsher penalties.
    and no i am NOT anti-Law enforcement. Most cops/judges/DAs are good upstanding folk

  32. Great post. I just stumbled upon your blog and wanted to say that I have really enjoyed browsing your blog posts.

Please to post comments

Comments are closed.