Kennewick powerlifter gets 30 months in federal prison for importing steroids

By Tyler Richardson, Tri-City HeraldSeptember 5, 2013 

Ryan Kennelly mug.JPG

Ryan Shawn Kennelly

A powerlifter who once set the world bench press record in Kennewick was sentenced Thursday to 30 months in federal prison for importing anabolic steroids from India.

Ryan Shawn Kennelly, known to the weightlifting world as "Bench Monster," had 1,503 steroid tablets mailed to him from Mumbai, India, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office.

The 39-year-old has been in federal custody since February. He pleaded guilty in March to importing the steroids.

Kennelly will be on court supervision for three years after his release.

In December 2010, a package containing the tablets arrived for Kennelly at a Kennewick post office, officials said. Kennelly called the post office asking for the package, which eventually was searched by postal inspectors.

That same month, authorities searched a Kennewick apartment that was linked to Kennelly, according to Herald archives. Officers found steroid vials, packets of chemicals and a safe.

The safe, which Kennelly had the key to, contained $20,000 in cash, $80,000 in gold coins and suspected drugs, court documents said.

Authorities from Grant County's narcotics team previously had seized more than a kilogram of powder steroids from Kennelly's Moses Lake home.

Kennelly was charged in Benton County Superior Court with possession with intent to manufacture or deliver anabolic steroids. He faced similar charges in Grant County involving marijuana and steroids.

Both cases were dismissed without prejudice as authorities pursued federal charges.

Kennelly, a 1992 graduate of Kamikan High School, set the World Powerlifting Organization bench press record in 2008 by pressing 1,075 pounds. The record recently was broken.

He told the Herald in a 2009 interview that he made a living out of redefining the sport of bench pressing. The 6-foot-2 powerlifter said he had written a book and made videos about the art of bench pressing.

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

The investigation that led to Kennelly's arrest was conducted by U.S. Postal Inspectors and the Grant County Interagency Narcotics Enforcement Team.

w Tyler Richardson: 582-1556;; Twitter: @Ty_richardson

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