Henry and James Mack were arrested a day earlier after the two met to buy cocaine from a person who was cooperating with authorities, according to an arrest warrant affidavit.
Mack and Henry were in federal custody on suspicion of knowingly and intentionally conspiring to distribute and possess with intent to distribute cocaine. They were advised of charges Wednesday. A preliminary hearing and detention hearing were scheduled for Monday.
It was not immediately known whether Mack had an attorney. Henry's attorney, Harvey Steinberg, confirmed he was representing Henry in the case but declined to comment on the charges when reached by The Associated Press.
The case has its roots in Montana, where a trooper and DEA agent stopped a car that was carrying six pounds of marijuana and about three kilograms of cocaine on Sept. 16, the affidavit said.
A passenger in the car, whose name was not disclosed in the affidavit, told authorities Mack and Henry had supplied him with the drugs, which he was supposed to deliver to customers in Billings. The man said he was supposed to be paid $5,000 for delivering the drugs and transporting about $63,600 in sales proceeds to Henry, according to the affidavit.
The affidavit indicated that separately, the passenger and another customer in Billings already owed Henry about $40,000 in drug proceeds. The passenger told authorities Henry had threatened him and his family over the debt.
The passenger agreed to cooperate with authorities and set up a drug deal Tuesday with Henry that led to the arrests of Mack and Henry, the affidavit said.
Broncos coach Mike Shanahan declined comment Wednesday, saying it wouldn't be fair to say anything until he knew the facts of the case.
Henry was released from the Broncos June 2, when Shanahan said his commitment was lacking.
Henry signed a five-year, $22.5 million contract with the Broncos before the 2007 season, but was dogged during training camp by a sprained left knee.
Also there were revelations he had fathered nine children by nine women, a fact that came out in a child support case in Georgia.
Henry rushed for 691 yards on 167 carries with four touchdowns in his one season in Denver, which was marked by a successful appeal of a one-year NFL suspension over a failed drug test. Shanahan publicly supported Henry in the matter, contending the running back was innocent, but the issue hung over the team for much of the season and the Broncos stumbled to a 7-9 record, their first losing season since 1999.
Henry was slow to return to offseason workouts after a hamstring injury this summer, and Shanahan jettisoned him in June. About a week after his release, reports surfaced that Henry had again tested positive for marijuana, his third offense putting him in line for a one-year suspension from the NFL if he signed on with another team.
If convicted as charged, Henry and Mack face up to life in prison and a $4 million fine.