Men charged with posing as police in pot robbery sting

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ATF special agents seized knit caps and T-shirts embossed with the word "POLICE" that suspect Shannon Christopher Harrop and four co-suspects allegedly planned to use for a pot heist Harrop called "The Boys." U.S. Attorney's Office photo filed in U.S. District Court in Medford.

The alleged plan was simple: pose as police officers raiding illicit Southern Oregon pot growers, and rob them. It was thwarted by another team of pretenders.

Shannon Christopher Harrop, 31, is among five men arrested earlier this month after planning a heist Harrop allegedly called “The Boys” with undercover Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms & Explosives special agents.

On July 14, the special agents made their arrest, seizing a cache of firearms, army surplus handcuffs and gear resembling police uniforms at a glance, according to documents unsealed earlier this week in U.S District Court in Medford.

The investigation into Harrop started more than a month ago, according to court documents filed in Harrop’s case. From June 17 until their July 14 arrest at a Southern Oregon storage facility, Harrop allegedly worked with undercover ATF agents posing as friends of a friend’s uncle.

For weeks they allegedly planned the robbery in secretly recorded meetings and phone calls with the undercover agents, according to court documents.

shannon-christopher-harrop
Shannon Christopher Harrop, 31, is charged in U.S. District Court in Medford on federal Robbery, Marijuana and drug conspiracy charges. Jackson County Jail booking photo.

Harrop planned for co-suspects identified as Delander Edward Moore, William Edward Pardue Jr., Derrick Franklin and Julius Diablo Franklin to rob the illicit marijuana grow suggested by the undercover agents. Harrop’s co-conspirators would break down the door and “come in like the police, jacketed up, full masked up, booted.”

It might just be the tip of the iceberg.

On July 1, Harrop allegedly told an undercover agent that he’d pulled off similar heists on marijuana dealers before. He claimed the victims were certain they were officers, even when the victims were on the ground and the robbers had revealed themselves.

“They wouldn’t give it up because they thought he was the police for real,” Harrop allegedly said about a co-conspirator. “And he was like, bro, I’m not the police.”

Harrop told undercover agents he had a warehouse in Orange County, California, selling stolen indoor-grown marijuana for about $2,700 per pound, and making more than half a million dollars per day, according to the ATF.

“… at my warehouse Santa Ana, right now, we’re selling ‘inds’ (indoor marijuana) two, three boxes, two to three hundred units a day for twenty-seven hundred bucks,” Harrop told the room. “So do the math bro.”

On Thursday, a grand jury filed additional charges accusing Harrop of having a role in an Eagle Point pot robbery about 3:30 a.m. the morning of Nov. 2 in the 2700 block of Alta Vista Road.

Three previously arrested suspects in the robbery, Nathan Daniel Perkins, Julia Marie MacLennan and Michael Joseph Manring, face new federal charges in the robbery, and are currently inmates in the Jackson County Jail.

Reach reporter Nick Morgan at 541-776-4471 or nmorgan@rosebudmedia.com. Follow him on Twitter @MTCrimeBeat.

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