10 days behind bars for ex-Klamath Falls police detective
A former Klamath Falls police detective received a lenient sentence in the U.S. District Court Nov. 23 after causing a crash while driving an unmarked police vehicle and overdosing on fentanyl, a drug he stole from a police evidence locker.
Thomas Dwayne Reif was sentenced to 10 days in jail and one year of supervised release after pleading guilty to two misdemeanor counts of possessing a controlled substance by misrepresentation, fraud, forgery or subterfuge. He could have received four to 10 months in jail plus post-incarceration supervision.
In the year since the November of 2020 incident, both the prosecuting and defense attorneys said, Reif, 28, has made progress turning his life around while addressing his substance abuse problems and post-traumatic stress disorder.
Assistant federal public defender Devin Huseby sought probation without incarceration, citing Reif’s difficult youth that included foster care, U.S. Army service with time stationed in Afghanistan and six years in law enforcement that resulted in his receiving awards for saving two people on the brink of committing suicide.
Reif is also considered to be fully disabled from PTSD that stems from his military service.
U.S. District Judge Michael McShane said Reif, having been in law enforcement, would have to serve some time in jail.
He commented that Reif had accomplished a great deal in spite of his background and that the defendant not only threw himself into his efforts to be a good citizen but has demonstrated that he has both “some brains” and “some insight.”
Reif has been studying to become a pastor. He voluntarily surrendered his law enforcement certifications in September and those credentials were subsequently revoked, according to the state Department of Public Safety Standards and Training.
McShane told Reif his actions last year put the public at risk and that he should keep in mind that, as a police officer, he “arrested people who have less — some younger and of color.”
Huseby expressed concern about Reif serving time in a local jail, which he said would be a long detention.
McShane pointed out that Reif might end up serving his jail time at home because of COVID-19, but he advised Huseby to ask about possible other sites where Reif could serve his time behind bars.
The judge also advised Reif to “quit beating yourself up and apologizing to everybody” because of his work to rehabilitate himself.
Reif’s sentence is scheduled to begin Jan. 3.