Hero Sheriff "Traded Meth for Sex" | The Fix
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Hero Sheriff "Traded Meth for Sex"

A retired officer with a heroic record is locked up in the jail that bears his name, accused of using meth to buy sex from a man.


Patrick J. Sullivan Jr.'s hard-won reputation
is in peril. Photo via

By Luke Walker


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A former hero Colorado Sheriff who was a first responder in the 1999 Columbine High school Massacre, was arrested Tuesday for trading methamphetamine for sex with one of several men he reportedly had ongoing relationships with. Local drug task force officers observed 68-year-old Patrick Sullivan, who is married with children, during the transaction: they say he solicited sex in exchange for drugs. Sullivan is being held at the Patrick J. Sullivan Jr. Detention Facility—a jail that was named in his honor—and is being charged with unlawful distribution, manufacturing, dispensing or sale of a controlled substance. A revered police officer, he served in law enforcement for a total of 40 years. He was named Sheriff of the Year by the National Sheriffs' Association in 2001 and was cited for heroism for incidents including the 1989 rescue of two fellow officers and a wounded 17-year-old, who were all being held hostage by a man armed with a machine gun. "I knew he had a distinguished career—I think he was a good guy. That's shocking. I am absolutely astounded," says former Arapahoe County Police Commissioner Jim Dyer. Sullivan is also regarded as a national expert on cyber terrorism. The felonies he's charged with carry penalties of over five years in prison.

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