Police seize steroids from powerlifter in Kennewick

A powerlifter who set a benchpressing world record in Kennewick now faces criminal charges for delivering steroids.

Police seized at least 84 vials of steroids and seven packets of steroid chemicals that allegedly belonged to Ryan Shawn Kennelly. The discovery was made after federal postal inspectors tracked a shipment of steroids to a Kennewick apartment connected to him.

Kennelly, 36, pleaded innocent in Benton County Superior Court to possession with intent to manufacture or deliver anabolic steroids. His trial is Feb. 14.

When he was arrested Dec. 17, the Moses Lake man who calls himself "The Bench Monster" had similar charges in Grant County involving marijuana and steroids, according to authorities.

Kennelly had been in the Benton County jail on $100,000 bail until Wednesday, when Judge Vic VanderSchoor lowered the amount to $25,000. Kennelly posted bail and was released later that day.

On his conditions of release form filled out during his court appearance, Kennelly listed a Kennewick post office box instead of giving an actual street address. He did not give the court a telephone number.

His court-appointed attorney, Kevin Holt, was not in this week and couldn't be reached.

Kennelly is a 1992 graduate of Kamiakin High School in Kennewick. He has been lifting for 16 years and on Nov. 8, 2008, set a World Powerlifting Organization world record for pressing 1,075 pounds during the Pride Powerlifting Strength Wars competition at a Kennewick gym.

News about Kennelly's drug arrests is making the rounds in the powerlifting world. It's reported on his Wikipedia page and several blogs, as well as the website, which also features photos and videos of him.

In an interview with the Tri-City Herald in December 2009, Kennelly said he has made a living out of redefining the sport of bench pressing. He said he has written a book and has videos on the subject.

"No one in the world can do what I do," he said at the time. "I've studied the art form and made it easier."

He said that includes using more than just the chest to move an impressive amount of weight, incorporating the shoulders, triceps, biceps, back and legs into a lift.

The Herald then reported that Kennelly's feats have made him a substantial amount of money in the sport of powerlifting, with sponsors, endorsements and a couple of long-term deals - mostly overseas.

His MySpace page, which shows his last login on Dec. 3, says his income is "$250,000 and higher."

"I don't want to do anything else," Kennelly told the Herald last year. "I started fishing again and I enjoy that, but I don't drink and I don't party. I have a small circle of friends with no surprises. I'm No. 1 in the world because I didn't go down that path."

Grant County Detective Dean Hallatt with the Interagency Narcotics Enforcement Team said the task force started its investigation into Kennelly earlier this year.

Kennelly was arrested at his Moses Lake home Oct. 6 and charged the next day in Grant County Superior Court with manufacturing marijuana and possession with intent to deliver both marijuana and anabolic steroids, according to authorities and court records.

Then Dec. 17, the Grant County task force served a search warrant at the Kennewick apartment. Members were assisted by the Tri-City Metro Drug Task Force, Kennewick's Criminal Apprehension Team and inspectors with the U.S. Postal Service, Hallatt said.

"We are still currently in an ongoing investigation with Mr. Kennelly. It originated in Grant County prior, and then it transferred over to Benton County," he said. "But as for a lot of the details, respectfully we are still in an investigation so I would hate to compromise it."

Kennewick police Sgt. Ken Lattin also couldn't release any details on his department's involvement because the Kennewick detective still has it marked as an open investigation.

According to Benton County court documents, postal inspectors intercepted a package of steroids and placed an alarm system inside the box. The warrant served two weeks ago was for the package, which allegedly was found inside the apartment along with the postal service's alarm device and the shipment of steroids. The warrant also covered any other steroids and products used to make the drug.

Officers found the vials and packets of chemicals, along with a safe. Kennelly had the key to the safe, court documents said. Inside, detectives found more suspected drugs, $20,000 in cash and another $80,000 in gold coins, documents said.