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The Spokesman-Review Newspaper
Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

Police chief: Embattled detective received steroids

Straub: No evidence other officers received drugs

The Spokane police detective who retired in the wake of an Internal Affairs investigation received illicit steroids in January at his home in North Spokane, Chief Frank Straub said Friday. The department announced yesterday Detective Tramell “Mel” Taylor also filed paperwork for his retirement. His wife, Sgt. Lydia Taylor, also is under investigation. Both Mel Taylor and Lydia Taylor are competitive bodybuilders. Straub denied Friday television reports linking the Taylors to an inmate who was involved with former Spokane County Deputy Prosecutor Marriya Wright. She also has been a competitive bodybuilder. Straub did not mention Wright’s name during the brief press conference Friday. He declined to take questions from reporters after reading his prepared statement. The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration contacted police in January to report Mell Taylor had received steroids at his home. “Subsequently, we referred the matter to the Federal Bureau of Investigation,” Straub said. The FBI interviewed Mell Taylor as recently as last week, Straub said. He then came to the chief offering his retirement. Straub listed Mell Taylor’s accomplishments during his 27 years with the force, including the Washington State Medal of Honor, the Spokane Police Department Silver Star, the Distinguished Service Medal and a Life-Saving Award. Taylor worked in the patrol division, according to court records. Straub said Lydia Taylor, who once served as a spokeswoman for the department, was under investigation “in part” because of her husband’s receipt of steroids. Under Straub, the police have routinely waited to open internal investigations until after a criminal investigation has concluded. Spokane County Prosecutor Steve Tucker, reached by phone for comment, said in a text message no information regarding the Taylors’ case had been received by his office. The U.S. Assistant Attorney’s Office of Eastern Washington did not immediately return a call requesting comment Friday. Straub said there was no indication at this time any other police officers are involved in the steroids case. “The Spokane Police Department will not tolerate any illegal activity, including the possession and/or use of controlled substances by any member of the Spokane Police Department,” Straub said.