Ex-Kettering detective who stole pills: It cost me ‘a career I love’

Former Kettering police detective Ryan Meno waits in court before he was sentenced for theft of drugs, theft in office and obstruction of justice after he admitted to stealing pain pills from an elderly woman’s home.
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Former Kettering police detective Ryan Meno waits in court before he was sentenced for theft of drugs, theft in office and obstruction of justice after he admitted to stealing pain pills from an elderly woman’s home.

A former Kettering police detective now has a criminal record, but he won’t see time behind bars after stealing prescription pain pills from an elderly woman’s home and lying to investigators.

Ryan Meno, 37, was sentenced Tuesday to five years’ probation, 90 days of electronic home detention and 200 hours of community service.

Montgomery County Common Pleas Court Judge Gregory Singer also ordered Meno to pay court costs, $250 in fees and to undergo treatment. Meno permanently surrendered his peace officer certification and must have no contact with the victim.

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“What you did to me was unthinkable for a person of the law to do,” Betty Mahorney, 75, wrote in a letter read aloud in court by Sgt. Adam Walker. “Not only to me, but to the people that you work alongside. I do not know how many other victims you left in your wake.”

Meno, who made nearly $97,000 in salary in 2015, apologized to the victim, Kettering police, his family and friends.

“I am deeply ashamed and embarrassed about what I’ve done,” Meno said, later adding, “I know I’ve lost a career that I love for the rest of my life.”

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Meno said he battled a pain-pill addiction a couple years before he stole medicine from Mahorney’s house on Feb. 29, 2016, after being clean for a few months.

“I kept my disease a secret from everyone I knew,” Meno told the court. “Once I sought help, I did so alone for fear of losing family, friends and my job.”

Mahorney was in the courtroom gallery for Meno’s sentencing and said after the hearing that she was treated well by Kettering police.

“One bad apple doesn’t do anything to make the others bad,” Mahorney said. “They’re all good people.”

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Assistant prosecutor Ward Barrentine had hoped for some local jail time for Meno, and explained to Mahorney that the judge has discretion. The maximum sentence for theft of drugs, theft in office and obstruction official business would have been 2.5 years in prison.

“There’s certainly the one side that an officer did victimize somebody, but certainly I would like for people to look at the other side how it upset our officers that this was done and that they made sure that somebody was brought to justice,” Kettering police Chief Chip Protsman said. “When somebody betrays that trust of the community, that they have to answer for that because we need that trust to be able to do our job.”

Protsman said that there are ways for police officers to get help for addiction.

“If they come forward where we can help them, absolutely,” Protsman said. “As a matter of fact, the union now has in their contracts where they’ve agreed to do random drug testings, which will help for us as well.

“So if somebody does have an issue, we certainly want to get them help. We’re not just looking to punish people.”

Mahorney wrote that Meno didn’t care about her being in pain because her medicine was gone, and that she wondered what would have happened if she had caught him in the act.

“I am old and weak and ill, and there’s no way I could have fought you off,” she wrote. “If you would have killed me, you could have just walked off and no one would have known.”