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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
District of Oregon

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, October 20, 2022

Armed Robbery Crew Posing as DEA Agents Charged in Federal Court

MEDFORD, Ore.—An indictment was unsealed in federal court today charging six Texas men for conspiring with one another to travel from Texas to Southern Oregon to commit an armed robbery of marijuana while disguised as agents from the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration.

Nevin Cuevas Morales, 21, Michael Ray Acuna, 20, Jose Manuel Lopez, 22, Alan Jaasiel Lopez, 19, Jordan Allen Gammage, 19, and Juan Carlos Conchas, 20, all of San Antonio, Texas, have been charged with conspiracy to interfere with commerce by robbery, conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute marijuana, and using, carrying, and brandishing a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime.

According to court documents, in the afternoon of March 12, 2022, local law enforcement officers were dispatched to a rural address in Josephine County, Oregon after receiving reports of a possible armed robbery in progress. Minutes later, officers arrived on scene to find a residence with a closed driveway gate and two empty vehicles running in the driveway with all their doors open. The officers observed multiple individuals running toward the back of the property. Victims found in the residence told the officers that multiple armed individuals dressed in DEA attire and wearing body armor arrived at the property and restrained several of the victims with zip ties and duct tape.

The officers quickly cleared the residence and outbuildings and proceeded to search the property and idling vehicles. Inside the residence, garage, and outbuildings, they found numerous plastic totes containing packaged marijuana. They found more packaged marijuana in the vehicles and body armor, badges, firearms, ammunition, and shell casings dumped along the path the suspects fled on near the rear of the property. The badges located resembled those carried by DEA agents. Nearly all the outbuildings on the property appeared to be broken into.

Law enforcement conducted an extensive investigation to determine the identity of the robbers. They soon learned that, in late February, the group traveled from San Antonio, Texas to Southern Oregon, staying in multiple hotels. After arriving in Oregon, the group put on their DEA attire and posed, with firearms, for a photo in a hotel room. Investigators located and seized the incriminating photos and multiple text message conversations in which the conspirators discussed their robbery plans.

Local authorities arrested Alan Lopez the same day as the robbery in Josephine County. On October 14, 2022, after being transferred to federal custody, he made his first appearance in federal court in Medford and remains detained pending further court proceedings.

On October 6, 2022, Morales and Acuna were located and arrested in San Antonio. One week later, on October 13, 2022, Conchas and Jose Lopez were also arrested in San Antonio. All four made their first appearances in federal court in the Western District of Texas and were ordered detained pending transfer to the District of Oregon.

Jordan Gammage is currently at large and believed to be in the San Antonio area.

Conspiracy to interfere with commerce by robbery and conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute marijuana are punishable by up to 10 and 40 years in prison, respectively. Using, carrying, and brandishing a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime is punishable by up to life in prison.

This case was investigated by the FBI and Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) with assistance from the Josephine County Sheriff’s Office and the Texas Department of Public Safety. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Marco Boccato and Amy Potter are prosecuting the case.

An indictment is only an accusation of a crime, and defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.

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Updated October 20, 2022