An Anaconda-Deer Lodge detention officer was decertified by the Montana Public Safety Officer Standards and Training Council in November after he was convicted of stealing inmates’ prescription drugs.
Bryan Louis Trainor, 34, was decertified on Nov. 26. He is no longer appointable as a public safety officer.
Over a year prior to his decertification, court documents indicate Trainor’s coworkers began to notice prescription pills missing from the Anaconda jail inmates’ blister packs. The pills were amphetamine salts and Clonazepam, both considered dangerous drugs by the state.
Anaconda Police Chief Tim Barkell said after inmate pills continued to go missing in early 2017, the police department called in the Southwest Montana Drug Task Force in late March to help investigate. The Anaconda Police and drug task force investigation included conducting interviews with detention staff, evaluating a written statement from an inmate and attempting to hide cameras in the county jail’s medicine room, which Trainor located, court documents stated.
“It wasn’t hard to figure out who was responsible because there were only a handful of officers who distributed the medications during the afternoon shift,” Barkell said.
On April 7, 2017, a Southwest Montana Drug Task Force agent and a Division of Criminal Investigation agent met with Trainor. Dozens of pills had been reported missing at this point, and the investigation had found Trainor to be the main suspect, court documents said.
At the beginning of the taped interview, Trainor denied knowing much about the missing pills. By the end of the short session, he admitted he had been pocketing amphetamine salts and Clonazepam pills for about a year and a half, court documents said. He was arrested for criminal possession of dangerous drugs, a felony, and theft by embezzlement.
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Barkell said that soon after Trainor confessed, he resigned from the detention center. He also said Trainor was accused of ingesting some of the pills at work, and for allegedly having inappropriate relations with an inmate. Both of these accusations were “too hard to prove,” Barkell said.
About seven months after Trainor was fired, Anaconda Police ran into him again. On Nov. 6, Barkell said officers spoke with Trainor’s girlfriend at the time, who said he had allegedly pulled a knife on her at her workplace, followed her and friends to a local pub where he waved his knife around and punched in the window of the front door to their home after she locked him out, court documents said. He was arrested for a partner or family member assault misdemeanor and two assault with a weapon felonies.
On April 4 of last year Trainor was sentenced for both cases by District Court Judge Ray J. Dayton. The assault with a weapon charges had been dropped, but Dayton found Trainor guilty of possession of dangerous drugs, theft and partner or family member assault, a felony and two misdemeanors.
Trainor received a three-year deferred sentence for the possession of dangerous drugs charge and six months in county jail suspended for the theft charge. He was required to pay $1,500 to the Anaconda-Deer Lodge County Task Force and $290 in court surcharges altogether for the three counts. He was also required to obtain 40 hours of counseling for the assault charge, and is currently on probation with Anaconda Probation and Parole.
Barkell said this was the first time a detention officer had been caught stealing medication from the county jail. As a result, detention officers have stricter rules to follow when dispensing inmates’ prescriptions, and there are now surveillance cameras in the medication room. Barkell believes the lack of cameras in the medication room before, which was the result of a dispute with the detention staff's union, allowed Trainor to get away with pocketing pills for such an extended period of time.
“There were no cameras in the room at that time, even though we tried to get them in there,” Barkell said, referring to the dispute. “Detention staff didn’t want cameras where we could watch them all of the time. … After Trainor, the union agreed to let us put them in.”