Patrick Sullivan Jr., 68, was being held on $500,000 bond in an isolation cell at a jail named in his honor in suburban Denver. Arapahoe County Sheriff Grayson Robinson said current or former law enforcement officials are usually kept from the general inmate population for their safety at the Patrick J. Sullivan Jr. Detention Facility.
Prosecutors charged Sullivan with felony distribution, possession of meth as well as a misdemeanor charge of soliciting prostitution. Authorities say he offered methamphetamine in exchange for sex from a male acquaintance in a sting set up by officers with a drug task force.
Sullivan also is charged with attempting to influence a public servant following a Sept. 20 report of an "old man" inside a home that the caller said he wanted to leave.
An incident report notes a man at the house reported Sullivan was getting three recovering addicts back into drugs. Sullivan told investigators he was helping them out as part of his work with a law enforcement and state drug rehab program. Officials have no record of Sullivan working for either.
Sheriff's officials say Sullivan has declined to grant interviews while incarcerated.
Sullivan was sheriff of the suburban Denver county from 1984 until 2002, when he retired. He was hailed as a hero following a daring 1989 rescue in which he crashed a vehicle through a fence to provide cover for two of his deputies who were pinned by gunfire. He was also named Sheriff of the Year by the National Sheriff's Association and praised by former Rep. Tom Tancredo in 2002.
Meanwhile, Robinson said police talked to him in January about Sullivan as part of an investigation into the unsolved drowning death of a man. Robinson said a detective contacted him in January for insight into the personality of Sullivan.
"He told me they were interested in interviewing Sullivan," Robinson said.
Denver police refuse to say whether they questioned Sullivan or what information they sought in the Jan. 26 drowning death of 27-year-old Sean Moss.
An autopsy found intoxication from meth and gamma-hydroxybutryic acid that's a rave drug known by various street names such as "Liquid Ecstasy," that's also a date rape drug, contributed to Moss' death.
Police spokesman Sonny Jackson said the case remains open because the coroner was unable to determine if Moss' death was accidental, a suicide or homicide.
The Denver Post reported that Sullivan had posted bail for Moss after his arrest Jan. 14 in a domestic violence case in Centennial, a suburb of Denver. That case involved a fight that broke out in a car on Interstate 25 between Moss and a man described by investigators as Moss' boyfriend, according to an incident report from the Arapahoe County sheriff's office.
The incident report said Moss and the other man were living together at the time. Both men were arrested.
No one answered the phone at a number list for the other man, who was identified in the report as Andrew Pino, 31, of Denver. Charges against both men were later dropped.
Moss was carrying a backpack packed with a denture brush, eight pairs of socks, some clothes, and other personal items when his body was found in the South Platte River northeast of downtown Denver.
Robinson said he knew little about the Moss investigation because that was Denver's case.
A Denver man remained in custody in a Denver jail Friday over allegations he supplied methamphetamine to Sullivan. Robinson said Timothy Faase, 49, was arrested Tuesday after investigators tailed Sullivan to Faase's Denver apartment.
Faase was being held in a Denver jail on suspicion of drug trafficking and possession of more than 2 grams of methamphetamine. His bond was set at $25,000.