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Thursday, May 28, 2020  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Spokane police officers investigated for steroids

Two Spokane police officers noted for competitive bodybuilding are under federal investigation for illicit steroids.

The officers, Tramell “Mell” Taylor and Lydia Taylor, are married and share a home in north Spokane.

They fell under scrutiny when a package of steroids arrived at their home last January, according to Spokane police Chief Frank Straub.

Mell Taylor, a detective, has filed paperwork for retirement as the police department launched its own internal affairs investigation into the matter. Lydia Taylor, whose name was Lydia Prichard until their recent marriage, is a sergeant who was once a spokeswoman for the department.

On Friday, Straub denied television reports linking the couple to an inmate who was involved with a former Spokane County deputy prosecutor. Marriya Wright, also a competitive bodybuilder, resigned her prosecutor position after she was placed on administrative leave pending an internal investigation into her dealings with the inmate.

Straub did not mention Wright’s name during a brief news 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 to retire.

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 was under investigation “in part” because of her husband’s receipt of steroids.

Spokane County Prosecutor Steve Tucker said in a text message that no information regarding the Taylors’ case had been received by his office. The U.S. attorney’s office in Spokane did not return a call requesting comment Friday.

Straub said there was no indication 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.

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