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Ex-Klamath Falls cop seeks probation after on-duty overdose

Thomas Dwayne Reif

Citing arguments that include his “extraordinary post-offense rehabilitation,” a former Klamath Falls police detective is seeking leniency from the court for his overdose last year on stolen drug evidence.

Thomas Dwayne Reif is arguing for a sentence of probation for the on-duty fentanyl overdose Nov. 27, 2020, which caused a crash while he was behind the wheel of his unmarked cruiser, according to a filing by his public defender in the federal case.

Reif pleaded guilty in August to two misdemeanor counts of possessing a controlled substance by misrepresentation, fraud, forgery or subterfuge, and is scheduled to be sentenced Tuesday, Nov. 23, in U.S. District Court in Medford.

Assistant federal public defender Devin Huseby, representing Reif, stated in a brief filed Tuesday that Reif took the synthetic opioid “accidentally.”

Reif believed the drug taken from an evidence locker was a stimulant narcotic.

“The instant offense occurred when Mr. Reif had been suffering from nightmares and insomnia, and despite attempts to drink himself to sleep, he was unable to do so,” Huseby stated. “He found himself falling asleep at work and made the unfortunate choice to utilize methamphetamine to stay awake.”

Reif reportedly drove his unmarked 2013 Dodge Avenger on the opioid before causing a multi-vehicle crash near the intersection of South Sixth Street and Crater Lake Parkway, according to news reports.

Huseby stated that the incident “and the downward spiral that followed” is Reif’s only criminal history.

Reif is an honorably discharged veteran who served more than 150 missions in Afghanistan as a gunner, Huseby claimed, and had “six years of exemplary service” with Klamath Falls police that included two life saving awards over the course of his career.

Reif was reportedly awarded in January 2016 for his efforts preventing an armed man from hanging himself in a garage, according to a Klamath Falls Herald and News report. He was honored again in February 2019 for helping to prevent a suicidal person from jumping off a vidaduct ledge, according to a police department Facebook post.

Huseby said his client has sought help from the Veterans Administration, was given a 100% service-connected disability for post-traumatic stress disorder and completed “intensive” inpatient treatments for PTSD and substance abuse.

“Mr. Reif has been in full compliance with the terms of his pretrial release,” Huseby stated.

Reif is currently attending college with the goal of becoming a pastor, according to the sentencing brief.

The crime carries a recommended sentence between four and 10 months in jail, according to a plea agreement filed in August.

Huseby, however, seeks a sentence of five years of probation.

Reach web editor Nick Morgan at 541-776-4471 or nmorgan@rosebudmedia.com. Follow him on Twitter @MTwebeditor.