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Ex-Sheriff`s Drug Scandal Explodes

Aired April 6, 2012 - 19:00   ET


JANE VELEZ-MITCHELL, HOST: I`m Jane Velez-Mitchell coming to you from New York City. A former sheriff`s drugs-for-sex scandal blows wide open. While he sits in jail as we speak, new questions emerging tonight about his unreal double life. Did his criminal life go even deeper than meth and gay prostitutes?

Tonight, an ex-sheriff`s drug scandal explodes, a former top cop caught on undercover video giving young men methamphetamine in exchange for sex. The disgraced former "sheriff of the year" has pleaded guilty to felony drug possession and soliciting prostitution. But is this just the tip of the iceberg. How long had this been going on? Could there be more young men out there who were lured into a world of sex and drugs by this once respected lawman?

Plus, the faces of meth, an inside look into this highly addictive drug that`s often linked to sex binges. It`s all next.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The former sheriff disgraced the badge.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Men coming in and out of the house. Drugs being smoked (ph) upstairs.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And I`m afraid this old man took advantage of these young boys.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Did his wife know he had 49 gay porn DVDs in his house?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The outrage, the shock, the disgust, the contempt for what has gone down.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He also used the badge to create favors in the meth community.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Pleaded guilty to charges of trading meth for sex.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Frequented this gay men`s bathhouse in search of victims.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Everything he`s done for the community has just died in the true person he is.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The roommate claims that the old man told him, quote, "If you want the police, I am the police."

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Somebody had to have known what was going on!

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: This is wrong on so many levels.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Tonight, a scandal continues to mushroom as more salacious secrets are exposed. Was an ex-sheriff`s double life even darker and more desperate than we could have imagined? Former top cop Pat Sullivan woke up today in the Denver jail named after him.

The married grandfather pleaded guilty this week in a drugs-for-sex scandal. Investigators say he gave methamphetamine to young drug-addicted men in exchange for sex. Sullivan found himself on the other end of an arrest last fall when he was busted in an undercover sting.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Police! Get on the ground! Freeze! Get on the ground!


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: let me see your hands!


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Put this down. Put this down!


VELEZ-MITCHELL: We learn the man whose face is blurred out in the arrest video is William Hadley (ph). And Hadley is saying he had sex with Sullivan numerous times in order to score methamphetamine from him. Hadley says they even smoked meth at Sullivan`s house after the former sheriff`s wife had left.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Me, Jeremy, my boyfriend, Jeff, have all been at his house while his wife was gone, sitting in the garage, smoking dope.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Unbelievable! This scandal may have set in motion an even larger investigation into Sullivan`s criminal life. According to affiliate KUSA, 29-year-old -- a man has reported police that Sullivan touched him inappropriately when he was 9 years old.

This is a claim. We`ve reached out to police. Can`t get anything back from them. There`s also a question of Sullivan`s possible link to the drowning death of a 27-year-old gay porn star last year who had meth in his body when he died. Sean Moss (ph) worked as a security guard, a job Sullivan helped him get. Moss`s boyfriend says Sullivan and Moss used drugs together the night before he was found dead in the river.


ANDREW PINO, FORMER BOYFRIEND: I saw him do illegal things with my boyfriend.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What sort of illegal things?

PINO: I -- this is difficult. I`ve seen him give him drugs. I`ve seen him using methamphetamines. It`s just tragic that drugs had to get involved and ruin so many lives.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Where is this investigation going? Are cops still digging to see how deep this goes? We don`t know because we won`t get a call back, despite repeated requests from the cops.

Straight out to KUSA reporter Jeremy Jojola. Jeremy, have you been able to speak to the police? What is the very latest?

JEREMY JOJOLA, KUSA: Well, the very latest at this point is that Sullivan is just sitting in the jail that`s named after him, serving out his 38-day jail sentence at this point. The task force that was created in all of this -- it has been suspended.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Had cops responded to you? I mean, supposedly, there was a 22-person task force that was at work investigating this former sheriff. We can`t get response from anybody about whether this task force is continuing, whether the FBI is involved.

The big question, of course, how far does this go back? This guy was sheriff for 18 years. Is there an investigation ongoing into whether any of this was going on while he was sheriff?

JOJOLA: Well, Pat Sullivan was convicted on Tuesday. He pleaded guilty. And according to the special prosecutor that was assigned to the case -- he said out in the hallway to news cameras that the investigation is essentially over.

The 22-member task force, which included members from the FBI to investigators here in Arapahoe County -- that task force, according to the sheriff in Arapahoe County, has been suspended. We`ve been told that they have exhausted all leads in this case.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Wait. You`re telling me they said they have exhausted all leads in this case?

JOJOLA: That`s what investigators have told us. They`ve told us that they`ve looked at numerous allegations. There were a lot of allegations out there, that they`ve tried following up on a lot of allegations. Some of them have turned out to be untrue, but that the investigation has run its course at this point.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: So they`re closing up shop on this guy? After he gets 30 days in jail? For this?

JOJOLA: I can tell you...

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Even though these guys say that they`ve been doing drugs with him all the time, repeatedly, time and time again?

JOJOLA: I can tell you what we`ve reported, and what they`ve told us is that this 22-member task force has been suspended and that they have exhausted all leads.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, after Patrick Sullivan retired as sheriff, he took as a job as a school district security director. A young man he recommended for a job in security just happened to be a gay porn star, Sean Moss, AKA Joshua Berlin.

Now, he was found dead in a Denver river last January, January of last year. Meth and a date rape drug, GHB, were found in his system. His boyfriend claims Moss and this former sheriff Sullivan often did drugs together, including the night before his death. Listen to this.


PINO: The kind of people that he hung around with, like, all very young, very troubled boys -- it`s hard to say if he was, like, using them or -- as much as they were probably using him for -- you know, Pat had a pension (ph). Pat had power. Pat had stability, what these kids did not have.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: By the way, we`ve repeatedly reached out to Sullivan`s attorney. And his attorney is invited on the show any time. We want to be fair. We just want to get to the truth.

Jeremy, is the investigation into the gay porn star`s death still open? Has Patrick Sullivan been questioned about that?

JOJOLA: What we reported is that Sullivan was questioned by police during their investigation into the death of Sean Moss. I did speak to Denver police this afternoon, and they say that investigation is still very much open. I asked if there were any significant developments in that case, and so far, there haven`t been any significant developments. But that case still remains open.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Jeremy, how shocked is this community? Paint a picture. You`re there on the ground. You`re the one who`s broken story after story on this case.

JOJOLA: Yes. Well, I think the shock came the night Sullivan was arrested on the 29th. Nobody could believe it at first. There was a lot of shock. We received numerous e-mails here at 9 News regarding his arrest. People just could not believe it, such a well respected sheriff who served as sheriff between 1984 and 2002 in Arapahoe County would do such a thing.

He`s been honored by, you know, this community for many, many years. He had such a well respected reputation among law enforcement here in Colorado. His name was synonymous with well respected law enforcement in Colorado. He was honored by a president. The shock really came the night he was arrested on November 29th.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Now, could the investigation into Sullivan`s dark double life lead to reveal even more shocking secrets? Were the males that Sullivan had contact with, sexual contact in exchange for meth, adults?

Our Denver affiliate, KUSA -- you just heard a reporter there -- is reporting a claim -- and I say it`s just a claim -- of child molestation against Sullivan. A 29-year-old man told KUSA that Sullivan touched him inappropriately when he was 9 years old. KUSA says the man has reported that claim to police and that there is an investigation. Again, we have reached out to police. They`ve given us nothing, no comments, no confirmation, nothing.

I got to ask, Holly Hughes, criminal defense attorney, former prosecutor, shouldn`t there be an independent investigation into this entire mess just to make sure -- this is a small town -- that Sullivan isn`t being protected by some old cronies?

HOLLY HUGHES, CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Well, there will be, Jane. And again, like you`re saying, we just got this report in that there`s a new claim of child molestation. So as one person steps forward -- we`ve seen this time and time again in these stories we cover, especially with child pedophilia scandals -- when one victim is brave enough to come forward, that empowers others. And all of a sudden, it`s possible we`re going to see the floodgates open and a lot more people come forward and file claims.

And then that task force that has been suspended, as our reporter told us, may, in fact, become active again to get to the bottom of these allegations. Child sexual abuse is something, unfortunately, we`re seeing more and more of. And what we`re finding is that these pedophiles just don`t stop. They continue to repeat over and over. So...

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, and I want to make it clear that we`re not calling him a pedophile.

HUGHES: Right. No, no, no.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: He`s been arrested for...

HUGHES: Correct.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: ... offering meth in exchange for sex with -- the person in this sting is in an adult. But we -- we can tell you there was a claim of inappropriate behavior by an adult man who said that this happened when he was 9.

And again, we reach out to all sides. We would love to hear from the attorneys for Patrick Sullivan. And no charges have been filed. And we want to get to talk to the police about this.

Let`s go to the phone lines. Lynnann, Arkansas. Your question or thought, Lynnann?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Hi, Jane. How are you today?

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Fine, thanks.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Again we see justice handed out depending on who or what you are. I don`t understand why the judge didn`t say, OK, I`m going to send you on a little mini all-inclusive 38-day vacation. That`s ridiculous. He should have done more time.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Debra Opri, criminal defense attorney, the person who was convicted of supplying the ex-sheriff the meth, which he in turn gave to the informants in the sting operation -- that guy got three years.

DEBRA OPRI, CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY This is Colorado. So from my understanding, they`ve said that this was more harsh than what people in his position would have gotten usually, which would be probation-only suspended sentence.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: But does that really make sense when the person who gave him -- who sold him the drugs got three years? I mean, so one person who give it to him gets three years, the other person who gives it to somebody else gets, what, 30 days.

OPRI: Well, Jane, it was the amount of narcotics in his possession. And you have to look at the dirty little secrets of these people of power, control and trust in our communities. Judges, sheriffs, they have control. And I think that the law should be tempered to the point where when you are holding such a high position of authority, that there should be harsher -- that there should be harsher sentences.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Exactly. I agree with you there.

Stick around. We`re just scratching the surface in this unbelievable sheriff sex-for-drugs bust.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The former sheriff disgraced the badge. And he also used the badge to curry favor with the meth community. And he used the badge to have influence over a very, very vulnerable community. So I think it`s an appropriate and just sentence.



PINO: ... in the back seat of his car or his SUV and smoked the (EXPLETIVE DELETED) out of a lot of dope.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right, so the man you were looking at who just spoke there is the same man in the undercover sting who essentially gets into the bed with the ex-sheriff. The ex-sheriff pulls out a DVD player and starts watching gay male porn after giving this guy, who we`ve identified or has been identified as William Hadley, some underwear.

And the whole transaction that`s going down here is that the ex- sheriff wants sex from this guy, and in return, he`s going to give him some methamphetamine. Is that what we`re seeing here?

Jonathan Elinoff, you`re a producer for "The Tom Martino Show." You did a lot of undercover investigation on this, and I understand you interviewed William Hadley. First explain to us who this person is in this tape who`s looking at the underwear that the former sheriff has given him, and what they`re about to do here.

JONATHAN ELINOFF, PRODUCER FOR "TOM MARTINO SHOW": Willie, I spent a long time trying to find. He was the hardest of the alleged victims to track down. You know, I said this in the interview the other night, that, you know, most of these people were homeless. They were addicted to serious drugs.

They are, for the most part -- in Willie`s case, he was a diabetic. Many of them are HIV-positive. And to find somebody like that, the demographics, the regions that I would have to go into in terms of...

VELEZ-MITCHELL: But let me ask you. You found him. Tell me how he hooked up with the sheriff, the former sheriff.

ELINOFF: I believe that he hooked up with the sheriff either through the on-line networks that most of them did or through the drug scene originally.

Now, when I interviewed him, I interviewed him for a pretty long time. I handed a lot of that video off to KUSA. But when you review what I interviewed, what he said is that he lived with Pat Sullivan for a short while. Sullivan actually had Willie in his house. Sullivan was collecting Social Security Insurance for Willie. Willie`s been ruled -- I don`t know if it`s incompetent or the term is correct there, but he`s not allowed to collect his own money. Somebody else has to collect it for him, and Sullivan was that person.

So Willie was living at Sullivan`s house. Now, there was a dispute with Sullivan`s wife and Willie. The police were called to the house. And this was before Willie was, I believe -- this was before, I believe -- this was before, I believe, Willie was kicked out of the house.

And then a short while after that, things kind of went south and Willie started talking to people, saying, You know what -- and he said this, I`m paraphrasing -- Willie believed that money was not given to him that was -- that he felt he deserved, his SSDI money. He said Sullivan was keeping it. So that`s his story about how he met Sullivan.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: And all of this has been investigated, and the powers that be say, Nothing to see here, nothing to see here? Fascinating.

We`ve got more on the other side, including the reaction from the ex- sheriff`s family.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: More on the sheriff`s sex-scandal in a second. First your viral video of the week. I don`t want a plunger anywhere near my coffee.



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Absolutely he would be characterized as a dirty old man. At the strip club, they used to call him "20-year-old dollar bill man" because he kept 20s.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: That critic and others say that this former sheriff used to go to gay men`s strip clubs and was very loose with the $20 bills. But this was the sheriff of Arapahoe County, Colorado, for 18 years. Everybody loved him. In `95, President Bill Clinton named him to the National Commission on Crime Prevention and Control. In 2001, the National Sheriffs Association names him "sheriff of the year"!

Meanwhile, he`s apparently -- well, he`s pleaded guilty to this undercover sting operation where he offered methamphetamine to a male meth addict in return for sex with the same guy.

And we want to show you now some faces of meth because this is a horrible epidemic across the country. There`s the Faces of Meth project of photos that emphasize the horrific changes people go through when they become meth addicts. They pick at their faces and they get acne and their teeth fall out.

I want to go to Bruce McCain, former captain with the Multnomah County sheriff`s office in Oregon. You were very, very big in this Faces of Meth project, and I applaud you for that. Are you, as somebody who used to work in a sheriff`s office, shocked and horrified that a former "Sheriff of the Year" honored by presidents is involved in this sex-for-meth scandal?

BRUCE MCCAIN, FORMER CAPTAIN, MULTNOMAH CO. SHERIFF`S DEPT.: Well, absolutely, Jane. You know, I worked for six different elected sheriffs in a county about the size of Arapahoe County. This is no small Mayberry RFD rural county. It`s outside of Denver with over a half a million people.

And I think the big issue here is this is going to go deeper than this guy, Jane, because he`s only been gone seven years. That means that some of his top commanders and some of the people that have been there are likely still there. And it really surprises me, frankly, that this task force would involve anybody from that agency, and let alone having him jailed in that same facility, as opposed to sharing (ph) him next door.

So when you have an elected sheriff, unlike an appointed police chief who can get fired, you combine the politics of a politician with the power of a police officer. And we`ve already heard in this episode where he`s already flaunted that power and abused it.

So I would not be surprised. There has to be people still at that agency that had hints of what this guy was going because he`s only been gone seven years.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, I think it`s 10 years, but why quibble. The point is well taken.

And Pat Brown, criminal profiler, sexual proclivities generally do not begin when somebody is in their late 60s. So if he had these sexual proclivities, these repressed -- and is a homosexual, but a repressed homosexual, even though he`s married to a woman, that probably just statistically manifested itself before it was arrested this past November.

PAT BROWN, CRIMINAL PROFILER: Right. Now, I`ve got three cliches which I think apply to the case. One is you can`t teach an old dog new tricks. Where there`s smoke, there`s fire. And also, let sleeping dogs lie.

Now, let`s look at it. Yes, you don`t teach an old dog new tricks. In other words, yes, this was -- this has gone way back. And where there`s smoke, there`s fire. This is just the tip of the iceberg. He`s probably been doing a lot of squirrely things over all those years.

But what happens is he`s very powerful. He`s very gregarious. He does a lot of good stuff. He`s an upstanding member of the community. Nobody really wants to say, you know, I`m thinking something`s wrong with a lot of the things he`s doing. And bringing that forward is very hard for people to do, so they let it go. And they`re going to let that sleeping dog lie, if they can.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: On the other side of the break, we`re going to talk to an addiction specialist about methamphetamine and why it makes people...



DUNCAN ROY, PRODUCER/DIRECTOR: You`re looking at man who is deeply in the closet. He`s in his 70s and when he was growing up as a gay man he probably didn`t have the choices that we have now.

And in the closet, I`m sad to say, it`s a very dark place, and I`m afraid you open yourself up to dark forces when you live there. And you know what; he`s probably lived there for a very long time, living on the edge of society.


JANE VELEZ-MITCHELL, HLN HOST: A mushrooming meth-for-sex scandal. You`re looking at undercover video of a sting operation in which a former "Sheriff of the Year", a man who served the very same county in which all this is happening as sheriff for 18 years. There he is in the T-shirt being cuffed. He`s got gray hair. He`s on a bed. He was watching gay male porn with the undercover informant, who set up the sting, and that other person whose face is blurred says he has done meth with the former sheriff many, many, many times in return for sex.

Now the former Sheriff Sullivan, married to a woman with whom he has children and he`s also a grandfather. And we have a statement here from his daughter, Pam Sullivan. Quote, "We are in shock right now. We are still trying to figure out what`s happened to our family," end quote. And certainly our compassion goes to them. Imagine being the daughter of this former sheriff who used to be a hero and who is now in complete and utter disgrace, and it all boils down to meth.

Methamphetamine -- a very powerful drug that is destroying countless lives across the United States. It`s epidemic.

Jamison Monroe, founder and CEO of the Newport Academy, you`re an addiction specialist; you help people get into recovery. Tell us about meth, how powerful it is, and why it makes people do incredibly self- destructive things. And we`ll show some of the faces of meth while you`re talking.

JAMISON MONROE, FOUNDER/CEO, NEWPORT ACADEMY: Yes, meth destroys people, Jane. Now what you see here is you have the combination of drug addiction, sex addiction and the abuse of power. It`s really one of the lowest stories -- lowest points that you can get. But what meth does is it really is one of the most powerful drugs out there. It hijacks your brain. It hijacks your pleasure centers. It`s a stimulant. It makes you feel really good for a really short amount of time.

Once it takes control of your brain, people, whoever is doing it will basically do whatever it takes to get more. As you`re seeing here, you have an upstanding member of the community for a period of time. Becomes addicted to methamphetamine, and everything comes crumbling down to where now he`s sitting in the jail that`s named after him.

I`ve dealt with teenagers, with businessmen, with attorneys, all that have gone from zero, from leaders in industry -- or from the top of their game to zero in a matter of weeks.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Unbelievable. And even though Pal Sullivan`s arrest came a full decade after he retired as sheriff, you have to wonder, I think the big question, was Patrick Sullivan ever high on meth back when he was the sheriff of this county?

In the case of a judge in Tennessee, investigators told local affiliate, WATE, that the judge was so addicted to prescription drugs that he was allegedly having sex and buying pills during courtroom breaks. Former criminal court judge Richard Baumgartner spoke out at his sentencing.


RICHARD BAUMGARTNER, FORMER JUDGE: I have a disease. And it is a serious disease. I do not offer that as an excuse. I take absolute and full responsibility for my conduct.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: The 64-year-old Baumgartner resigned and received drug treatment, got a slap on the wrist and pleaded guilty to official misconduct. But the end result was that many of his convictions were overturned because of his scandalous actions.

So my question to Debra Opry, criminal defense attorney, could this scandal with ex-Sheriff Sullivan force a re-examination of all the convictions based on arrests made on his watch?

DEBRA: Yes, absolutely. Under habeas corpus, you`ll have far- reaching consequences of the various cases -- over a thousand in his courtroom alone because there are only three sitting judges for the felony cases, for the criminal cases.

This is far reaching, Jane, because if you look at his conduct, and this is again the dirty little secrets of the people who sit with power and control and the trust of the community, tell me where does it end when they start unraveling these judges` lives. If you look at this one judge, how many more across our country, and what kind of trust will be shaken by the people, including attorneys, of our judicial system? It`s troubling to me.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Bruce McCain, you`ve been studying this meth problem as a former member of the sheriff`s office. Why is meth and sex, why are they so intertwined? Does meth like super charge your sex drive?

BRUCE MCCAIN, FORMER POLICE OFFICER: Absolutely, Jane. We heard it from your addiction specialist talk about that before. It does give that very, very intense pleasure center. And it`s not uncommon to find the whole prostitution and methamphetamine thing linked together.

So when we started the "Faces of Meth" program that you`ve been featuring here many years ago, that`s actually what caught our attention. We started looking at primarily these prostitutes on the female side and young men that are coming into our jail and we`re noticing their booking photos and how drastically and how quickly their faces change.

So we simply started collecting their booking photos and putting them together and what you got is the "Faces of Meth". And if you look at the underlying criminal charges, methamphetamine is usually not the only charge they`re coming in on. It`s going to be theft and lots of sex charges, absolutely.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes. Well, speaking of other bad behavior, even though Pat Sullivan retired as sheriff back in 2002, local news media claims he continued to try to pass himself off as a cop. Cops say they found three sheriff`s badges while searching his home. Where they also found like 49 sex DVDs.

CBS Denver reports last September Sullivan allegedly showed a badge at a crime scene and told a witness, quote, "I am the police," end quote. After that, the current sheriff reportedly sent him a letter telling him to stop and turn in all his credentials, and that was only a month before Sullivan`s arrest.

Now, I got to go to Pat Brown. He also reportedly bailed out men who had been arrested for drug charges. Should that not have been a red flag to the authorities that this former sheriff is coming in and bailing out these guys who were in drug problems?

PAT BROWN, CRIMINAL PROFILER: Obviously it should have been some kind of a red flag, and I`m guessing it was there through his entire career. But what I was saying before was that when you have somebody in a place of power and they do a lot of good and they cover up their bad behavior with a lot of good behavior. So then you feel really kind of terrible saying, well, you know, the sheriff is always doing the right thing, I thought I saw him doing something wrong. So you`re kind of like trying to open up a can of worms and attack somebody who is a big member of the community and everybody respects.

So pretty much what happens is people step back and say maybe I`m just exaggerating that. Maybe I didn`t really see that. Maybe it was just a bad day for him. They make excuses. And it goes on and on and on. And he knows that. So he keeps using his gregariousness and his friendliness and his power to keep getting away with those other things that nobody wants to look at.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, this ex-sheriff isn`t the only public official leading a double life. In a bizarre parallel, a 67-year-old Georgia judge was caught in a drugs and pay-for-sex scandal. He also got a 30-day jail sentence when he pleaded guilty to drug related charges. Ex-federal judge Jack Kent was arrested after he bought cocaine and other drugs from a stripper. He reportedly met the dancer when he bought a lap dance -- private lap dance which then spiraled into a drug-fueled sexual relationship.

I have to go to Holly Hughes, former prosecutor; first of all, what the heck is going on with these men in their late 60s? They`re public officials, but then what`s going -- why are they all seemingly getting 30 days in jail?

HOLLY HUGHES, FORMER PROSECUTOR: Well, you know, that`s the big question, Jane, because you ask yourself this. If this was just an ordinary citizen, in the exact same situation, 60 some years old, out there smoking drugs, you know, taking dope, buying lap dances and then engaging in illicit sex with another woman, would they have gotten the same treatment? And I would venture to say no.

What we`re seeing is the buzz words that every other guest has used. Those with power, position, and privilege are treated differently. And that`s one of the big arguments for mandatory sentencing across the board. Don`t give judges on the bench the opportunity to say, hey, one person can get 30 days. And another person can get three years or 30 years for the same offense.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, all right.

HUGHES: Because they`re friends -- let`s face it. This is somebody who sat on the bench with that other person, who is now sentencing them, right?


OPRY: Well, I`m telling you, you have to go back to the sentencing guidelines of the amount of the drugs in possession. As far as I was laughing about your late 60s comment, I`m married to somebody who is 65, and I can tell you point blank, everybody has demons, but maybe they`ve been around so long, they didn`t think they were getting caught.

Good for me I`ve got a good husband. All I can tell you is, I don`t think there`s a leniency standard here. I think that these people in their late 60s got lazy over the years and they just started taking it for granted that they were getting away with it.

As far as the sheriff in Colorado -- go ahead.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Let me go back to Jonathan Elinoff because you`re there on the ground in Denver. What`s your stance of -- do they really think that this is just going to go away?

JONATHAN ELINOFF, PRODUCER, "TOM MARTINO SHOW": I think that. In fact, I`ll go further and say that a lot of the people I spoke with who worked on this investigation told me in confidence. You know, the politics of these kinds of cases, he was a sheriff. He knows information. He probably -- and I`m saying this as a speculative statement but also with some other information -- rolled on some kind of deal. In other words, he gave up a lot of information in exchange for that sentence.

So that power the people are talking about that one might wield may not be a position or money or something like that, but more like information about who is running certain types of illicit drugs or perhaps worse.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes, but do you really think that the powers that be think that just because they`re saying "no comment" this is going to go away?

ELINOFF: I don`t think they want a trial because of the information that many people like myself came across. I think it would be a mess. It would be a headache between what people can prove, ok, the charges that would make it into trial and then they would find out they don`t have enough evidence so it would look bad. Or what they would find out to backfire. It would be a messy trial and a lot would come out.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, I got to say, thank you, Jonathan, and excellent investigative reporting.

Thank you, fantastic panel. It`s not going away. If you`re watching, we`re going to stay on top of this story. And we`re going to keep calling because we want to get to the truth. How deep does this go? How far back does it go?



UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: New worries about what the chicken that`s on your dinner table had to eat.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Two recent studies raise questions about what may be in chicken from the active ingredients of Tylenol and Benadryl, caffeine and even arsenic.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The underlying message is, you know, what exactly is in meat?


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Tonight, frightening news about what could be on your dinner table. Scientists report chicken feed on large factory farms routinely contain caffeine, (inaudible) antibiotics along with some of the same ingredients in Tylenol and Benadryl plus -- are you sitting down -- arsenic, which is a poison, last time I checked.


KEEVE NACHMAN, JOHNS HOPKINS CENTER FOR LIVABLE FUTURE: It was pure surprise. They were included as part of the chemical panel that we used to test for antibiotics, which we did expect to find. And it was quite shocking to us.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: The National Chicken Council calls these two studies misleading and denies the arsenic claim. But best-selling author Kathy Preston, says, hey, there`s a much better alternative anyway. The woman who convinced Oprah to have her staff go vegan for a week is back with a whole new way of looking at food in her brand new book "The Lean".

Kathy gives you a road map to making small changes to your diet that will radically improve your health and lower your weight. But it`s not a diet. We know diets don`t work. This is a new way of life.

Kathy, I`m so thrilled and honored to have you here. You are one of my heroes. So many people out there struggling with their weight, struggle with feeling sluggish. What does your fabulous must-read, got to read it, got to get it new book "The Lean" tell them to do?

KATHY PRESTON, AUTHOR, "THE LEAN": Thank you, Jane. First of all it`s all about leaning into these shifts. These small little tweaks that you can do that gradually change your diet because the word "diet" is just too much for all of us. It`s hardcore discipline and we white-knuckle our way through it. I don`t think that life should be like that. I think we should enjoy our food.

And when we crowd out the bad stuff with good stuff, we don`t miss anything. We`re not feeling deprived. So this book is all about how to crowd things out with healthy choices.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes, and listen. Full disclosure -- I`m a vegan. I don`t eat any meat or dairy products or fish. And I`ve also given up sugar. That doesn`t mean it`s no, no, no. Look at all these fabulous fruits and veggies that we have at the farmer`s market.

And here`s something new. Do fast food and sweets cause depression? A new study says people who eat these foods are 51 percent more likely to develop depression.

What do you have to say about that? Is the diet that you`re suggesting here, the way of life -- is it life positive? Does it make you happy?

PRESTON: Of course, you`re going to be filled with energy. That`s the number one thing. When you`re eating whole grains like brown rice, (inaudible), Quinoa, beans like black beans, navy beans, lentils, chickpeas, things like that. Vegetables, fruits, you`re going to get all these phytonutrients that you`re not going to be getting from meat and dairy, plus the fiber. That`s going to energize you throughout the day. And it`s going to change your body from the inside out.

And that includes changing the way you feel emotionally, mentally. You`re going to have a clarity that you`ve never experienced before as you`re dropping the weight.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes, and you know what, the energy level. I have a lot of character defects. But everybody always tells me why are you so energetic all the time? In your book "The Lean" you asked what are you going to do today? And then you list a whole bunch of things that can be done every day. Drink lots of water. Eat an apple. Trade up on milk and butter. What do you mean by that?

PRESTON: Well, instead of eating dairy, I say, try soy milk, almond milk, rice milk because Jane, if you think about it. A lactating cow, who is producing milk is perfectly designed by nature to produce milk that`s going to have a little bitty cow put on a thousand pounds really quickly. And that little calf is going to become fat, docile and slow. We don`t want to be fat, docile and slow.

And those inherent hormones -- and I`m not even talking about the ones that are injected into cattle to produce milk. I`m talking about inherent natural growth-promoting hormones. That makes us gain weight. We don`t want to become fat, docile and slow. We want to be lean and mean and quick on our feet.

So when you choose things like soy milk, almond milk, rice milk, you`re cutting out a big problem for weight loss.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: I could talk to you for a year. We`re out of time. But the bottom line -- get it, "The Lean".


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Next a story every parent needs to hear.

But first, we all deserve a little laugh break.





KATHERINE EWER (ph): My name is Katherine Ewer. I have Asperger`s syndrome.

I also speak six languages. I have autism.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Autism doesn`t really change the person. Just slightly the way they think.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Currently I`m a college student majoring in photography, but when I transferred to the University of Tennessee, which I have been accepted to this fall, I will be majoring in humanities and photography.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: It`s a medical mystery every parent needs to investigate. The number of cases of American children with autism skyrocketing. The CDC says it`s up 78 percent just in the last decade. Get this -- one out of every 88 kids in the United States has some form of autism spectrum disorder.

Researchers say the sooner you find out, the more you can help the autistic child. So they`re urging parents to look for signs in babies as young as 6 months old. Some possible signs include delayed or infrequent babbling, poor eye contact, a child who doesn`t gesture when they`re talking, doesn`t seek attention or doesn`t reach out when approached. Doctors know what to look for.

But the biggest question, why. Why is this happening more often? What are the secret factors causing this?

Joining me now is Dr. Max Wiznitzer, neurologist at Rainbow Babies and Children`s Hospital in Cleveland, Ohio. You, Doctor, treat autistic children. You`re an expert. What are the possible suspects for this rise in autism?

DR. MAX WIZNITZER, NEUROLOGIST, RAINBOW BABIES AND CHILDREN`S HOSPITAL, CLEVELAND OHIO: The most obvious one is we`re much more aware of it now than we used to be ten years ago. And therefore if you recognize it you bring them in, people are able to label it more carefully and more consistently and more clearly. In addition to that, our diagnostic criteria have expanded.

When I first started in practice, they were relatively narrow. They`ve gone much wider so we`re able to include a larger group. And that`s probably why if you look at the most recent numbers, it is a much larger percentage of the kids now with normal intelligence than low intelligence.

And in the old days, the vast majority of kids with autism seemed to have low IQs which means below 70, the mental retardation range. Nowadays it seems to be flipping in the other direction.

Now, in addition to all these things, we know reasons why autism are occurring. One, it`s clearly a genetic basis. We`ve identified many genes; the paper came out this week showing another few genes that basically help how the brain is built. Think about it. If the blueprints aren`t written right, you can`t build the brain right.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right. Let me jump in for one second before you get to secondly. Because CNN`s Dr. Sanjay Gupta had his take on the causes of autism. Let`s listen.


DR. SANJAY GUPTA, CNN CHIEF MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: Everyone seems to believe it`s a combination of genes and environment. That`s the answer you hear for most things. But I put forth this -- that the numbers have really increased a lot over the last decade, 78 percent. Your genes don`t change that fast. And we as human beings, our genes don`t change that fast. So I think it puts more of the onus of this cause and the increase on the environment. And not just after a child is born, but also, you know, in the mother`s womb.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Doctor, what about the environment?

WIZNITZER: That`s exactly what my secondly was. Thank you for the, we want to say the priming the public. We know that there`s a lot of factors that can influence the fetus -- exposures to certain drugs, certain or potential toxins in the environment. Other papers have suggested relationships with maternal obesity, diabetes, and we know that those numbers are going up in the population.

If these are going up, we can see more kids at risk. Premature children are now living when they used to not live. There`s a link to being born prematurely. So it`s a combination of environment perhaps in --

VELEZ-MITCHELL: More on the other side.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: The average American has 126 unique ingredients poured on their body every day. A body burden study on a few people discovered 167 different chemicals in the bodies of these randomly selected people. That, Doctor, and I certainly wouldn`t underestimate what we`re eating these days. We were just talking about all the junk food.

WIZNITZER: We don`t know yet. But yes, it could be that certain exposures to certain substances perhaps in genetically susceptible individuals put you at greater risk. No one can argue.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: What about food?

WIZNITZER: Food, as far as we know there`s no direct link to food. It doesn`t matter what kind of diet you eat, per se, in terms of causing autism. For kids who have autism, special diets are used which probably get rid of more some of the complications or co-morbid which means disorders that go along with the condition, rather than address the autism itself.

But if you feel better because you`re eating better, it will be better.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Got to leave it there. Thank you sir.