Every day, thousands of the bravest and best folks humanity has to offer go out and selflessly put their asses (and legs, and torsos, and every shootable part of their bodies) on the line for the rest of us. This article isn't about them. This is about the law enforcement officers who looked at the worst criminals in the world on a daily basis and said to themselves, "I can top that."
They may be horrible people, but you've got to admire the balls it takes to pull off stunts like ...
In 2001, Arapahoe County Sheriff Patrick T. Sullivan was named National Sheriff's Deputy of the Year, and when he retired in 2002 (after 30 years in law enforcement), the county loved him so much that they renamed the local jail in his honor. That's how good this guy was at sheriffing.
RJ Sangosti/The Denver Post
Granted, the "Arapahoe Indian Decapitation Fortress" was due for a renaming anyway.
Sullivan went on to join a legislative task force for the state of Colorado and helped to form a lot of the policies and laws that local law enforcement agencies use to prosecute drug offenders in general, and meth users in particular. And just in case you still need proof that this guy was awesome, here's footage of Sullivan in the '80s running his truck through a fence to save some officers during a shootout.
"To any criminals watching this: Now I have a machine gun. Ho-ho-ho."
But at the Same Time ...
Retirement can be hard for some people: Some stay home every day and sulk, some take up fly fishing, and some try to deal meth and end up serving time in the jail named after them.
"I hate fishing, so ..."
Apparently, after decades of being up to his armpits in meth-crazy, Sullivan decided to see what life was like on the other side of the fence, so he dived in head first. The former sheriff became a connoisseur of meth and what some folks colloquially refer to as "rough trade." Sullivan became infamous among young male prostitutes in Aurora County for using his position to, umm, get into other positions. Sexy positions.
In 2012, local cops finally caught on and arranged for a sting operation, and Sullivan was videotaped trying to trade meth for sex with a cop informant. He was arrested, interviewed, and asked whether at any time he had engaged in sex with a minor. Sullivan told cops that he couldn't honestly answer that question, as he was way too fucking high most of the time. Hey, we've all been there, pal.
Sullivan was then hilariously booked into the Patrick T. Sullivan Correctional Facility ...
Kurtis A. Lee/The Denver Post
Suddenly, "serving time inside Sullivan" took on a whole different meaning.
... which has been since renamed.
In all seriousness, if he didn't at least try to declare himself King of the Jail the moment he was ushered into his cell block, then we have to question if all of this was even worth it.
Drug Enforcement Agency officer Darnell Garcia's entire life was like something out of an '80s action flick. Several of them, in fact -- not only did Garcia train with both Chuck Norris and Bruce Lee, but he apparently knew enough about how to tear an opponent's head off to author a book on the fucking subject, which he also did. It's called The Fighting Art of Tang Soo Do. Here's a still of Garcia in Bruce Lee's Enter the Dragon:
This is also his profile picture on Twitter, because of course it's his fucking profile picture on Twitter.
After retiring from the karate championship circuit, Garcia came up through the ranks of the LAPD and joined the DEA in 1981. Along with fellow agents Wayne Countryman and John Jackson (shit, even his co-workers sound like action movie characters), Garcia spent the '80s living the plot of a Miami Vice episode every single day.
But at the Same Time ...
Except for the part where he was actually the villain. He was anti-drug agent by day and pro-drug kingpin by night. It was like Dexter, only somehow less plausible.
At some point Garcia and his pals realized that ripping off drug dealers was a lot more profitable (and fun) than simply stopping them. Their first few heists were relatively small, netting only $16,000 in cash and 2 pounds of heroin. Then they decided to stop fucking around in 1985 and stole 400 pounds of cocaine from a Pasadena stash house, effectively becoming millionaires overnight. Actually, forget Dexter, that's some Omar shit right there.
Thankfully "The Farmer in the Dell" is public domain, so they can both use it as theme music.
Garcia didn't stop there either. Garcia, Jackson, and Countryman set up Swiss bank accounts and distribution networks operating out of both New York and Los Angeles. Taking a page out of Breaking Bad before Breaking Bad was a thing, Garcia rounded up several fugitive drug dealers and instead of, you know, arresting them, he placed them in DEA safe houses to handle the sales end of the operation.
When Countryman and Jackson were finally arrested in 1988, Garcia probably came to his senses and turned himself in, right? Not a fucking chance -- he fled the country and led both the FBI and Interpol on an international manhunt. When they finally caught up to him in Luxembourg a year later (we can only pray there was a speedboat chase involved), his official defense was that he had come by those millions of dollars in his Swiss bank account totally legitimately ... by smuggling jewels for an Italian syndicate.
"Oh, well that's perfectly fine then. Not guilty."
Shit, he even perjures awesomely.
NYPD Mafia Task Force detectives Stephen Caracappa and Lou Eppolito were almost complete opposites in every way. Eppolito was a seasoned street cop who looked kind of like a silverback gorilla, only with slightly more body hair and a raging case of edema. Caracappa, meanwhile, was smaller and bookish, favored dark silk suits, and had a cadaverous complexion. Together, they fought crime.
The short-lived Tom Selleck/Burt Reynolds series Mustache Squad was based on them.
But at the Same Time ...
Also, they did crime. Because they were also Mafia hit men. On more than one occasion, the two would whack a mark in a certain neighborhood and end up interviewing potential witnesses in the same area for their other job.
"So, a ninja-pirate came running in and murdered that guy?"
"No, I said it was a ..."
"Wow, a ninja-pirate. Unbelievable."
Caracappa and Eppolito carried out at least eight hits under direct orders from known gangster Anthony "Gaspipe" Casso. The hits themselves were masterpieces of simplicity -- they used NYPD cars and pulled over their intended victims, presumably under the guise of a traffic stop, and then *KaBlam*!
Rosier for News
"Sometimes we'd throw a *BangBang* or a *BaBoom* in there. You gotta keep things fresh."
The hits alone are bad enough, but there's more. Caracappa worked for the Major Cases Unit, which gave him access to all sorts of classified information about, among other things, the Mafia. The same Mafia he happened to be working for. So let's say you're an underboss about to turn state's evidence against Casso: The last thing you'd want is to have the guy Casso subcontracts his wet work to getting your personal information. Caracappa also knew all of the safe houses in New York, so if an informant was moved, that info passed right through his office and from there to Casso. He was the wet dream of any mob boss.
And they may have gotten away with it, too ... if Eppolito hadn't written a book about his rise from Mafia family kid to totally honest non-Mafia cop, which he then promoted across national television.
At this point a few people finally stepped forward and said, "Hey, remember that murderer we saw? He's on Sally Jesse Raphael right now." Eppolito and his partner were arrested, although he probably still wishes his book gets adapted. We're thinking Jonah Hill and that guy from Napoleon Dynamite for the main roles.