fb pixel

Log In


Reset Password

Accused pot robber tried to obtain date rape drug in jail, feds say

Shannon Christopher Harrop
Feds say he wanted to initiate a medical emergency that would get him out of jail

A man who allegedly planned a series of robberies targeting marijuana growers also devised an apparent scheme to get released from jail by using the date rape drug to fake an emergency, according to federal prosecutors.

Shannon Christopher Harrop, 31, allegedly came close to obtaining the sedative GHB, better known as the “date rape” drug, in late February and early March as part of an apparent attempt to “initiate a medical emergency, be taken to the hospital and theoretically be released from custody,” according to a document filed last week in U.S. District Court in Medford by assistant U.S. Attorney Marco Boccato.

Harrop has been in federal custody since July 23, when undercover Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives agents arrested Harrop and out-of-state co-suspects at a Medford self-storage facility after a months long undercover investigation, and seized a cache of Army surplus handcuffs and gear resembling police uniforms.

Boccato stated in a March 26 filing that Harrop “made numerous phone calls” to acquire the Schedule I controlled substance in late February and early March, through Harrop’s phone account at the jail “or another inmate’s account.”

“During multiple calls, Mr. Harrop used thinly veiled coded language, such as referring to ’GHB’ as a person and obtaining the drugs as filing a motion or documents,” Boccato wrote.

On March 8, an ATF agent and jail sergeant confronted Harrop because Harrop was “close to accomplishing his plan of acquiring GHB and believed intervening action was necessary,” according to Boccato, who cited recordings provided to the court that are sealed in court records.

“Law enforcement concerns involved the health and safety of both jail staff and inmates, including jail staff being exposed to GHB and becoming incapacitated,” Boccato wrote.

Boccato's four-page filing was in response to a March 10 filing from Harrop’s defense lawyer, Ronald Howen of Lakeview, that claimed an ATF agent traveled to the jail unannounced and without Howen’s prior notification, and “confronted Mr. Harrop about his alleged misuse of his phone privileges at the jail.”

Boccato replied that the ATF agent and jail sergeant’s confrontation with Harrop lasted “just over one minute,” and that Harrop “was asked no substantive questions.”

Harrop is the lead suspect in a nine-person ring charged with robbery, controlled substance and firearms counts in U.S. District Court in Medford surrounding a home-invasion heist that Harrop allegedly called “The Boys,” with undercover ATF agents who spent months posing as jilted Southern Oregon growers, according to earlier news reports.

Harrop is linked to four home invasions in the fall of 2019 and early 2020 that involved teams of suspects storming properties in Jackson and Josephine counties. Two involved shootings, and a November 2019 robbery in Eagle Point reportedly involved a chase during which Jackson County sheriff’s deputy followed a robbery suspect on Interstate 5 through two counties.

Harrop and his defense lawyer have petitioned the court at least twice for early release from jail. Despite Howen’s arguments that his client has health complications, judges have repeatedly denied motions for early release stating that Harrop “remains a danger to the community and (a) flight risk.”

Court documents show that Harrop’s most recent petition for early release was in February, after he tested positive for COVID-19 during an outbreak at the jail.

The jail in Grants Pass has been linked to 54 cases between Jan. 29 and Feb. 24, according to Oregon Health Authority reports.

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