DEA agent jailed, released on charge for Salem cyclist’s death 

An agent of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration turned himself in to the Marion County Jail on Sept. 6, the same day he was charged with criminally negligent homicide for his role in a collision that killed a Salem cyclist.

Samuel Landis, 38, was booked, had his mugshot taken and was released after posting $2,000 bail that same day, according to court documents made public on Thursday, Sept. 14.

​​A Marion County grand jury indicted Landis, a special agent of the DEA, on a single count. The charge came over five months after the collision that killed Marganne Allen, a cyclist and state official.

The agent is scheduled to be arraigned at 9 a.m. on Wednesday Sept. 20, in Marion County Circuit Court, court records showed.

“The Marion County District Attorney’s Office does not comment on some cases that fall in a particular legal posture until after an arraignment in open court has occurred,” Deputy District Attorney Brendan Murphy said in an email Thursday.

Murphy did not immediately respond to a written question about whether prosecutors asked that the indictment be treated as confidential.

The DEA has declined to answer whether Landis is still employed by the federal agency.

The charge alleges that the agent killed Allen with “criminal negligence,” according to the indictment. Criminally negligent homicide is a class B felony punishable by up to 10 years in prison.

District Attorney Paige Clarkson that day requested that a warrant be issued for Landis’s arrest. 

Salem Reporter has requested records from Clarkson’s office about arrangements made with Landis or his attorney for his surrender.

Court records listed his home address as the DEA’s Salem office.

Landis was ordered as part of his release conditions to not drive a vehicle without a valid license and insurance, possess weapons or alcohol, or enter bars or taverns.

The charge became public when it was posted in Marion County Circuit records but was removed for a week after Salem Reporter reported on the indictment

Under Oregon law, criminal negligence means the person failed to be aware of a “substantial and unjustifiable risk,” and that failure “constitutes a gross deviation from the standard of care that a reasonable person would observe in the situation.”

Grand jury proceedings were held on July 21, Aug. 24 and Aug. 31, according to the indictment. Grand jurors heard from 18 witnesses, including Landis and three others identified as working for the DEA.

Allen, 53, was riding home from her state job when she collided at the intersection of Southeast High and Leslie Streets with a pickup truck that police said was driven by an on-duty DEA agent.

Video obtained by Salem Reporter showed that the driver of the pickup truck sped down Leslie Street, drove past a stop sign without stopping and into the intersection at High Street where the crash occurred.

The Salem Police Department announced three days after the cyclist’s death that it was transferring its investigation of the collision to the Keizer Police Department because it was partners in a task force with the DEA. 


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​​​​BREAKING NEWS: DEA agent charged in cyclist’s death

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City kept in close touch with DEA following fatal cyclist collision, records show

Video shows driver ran stop sign in fatal collision with Salem cyclist

Contact reporter Ardeshir Tabrizian: [email protected] or 503-929-3053.

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Ardeshir Tabrizian has covered criminal justice and housing for Salem Reporter since September 2021. As an Oregon native, his award-winning watchdog journalism has traversed the state. He has done reporting for The Oregonian, Eugene Weekly and Malheur Enterprise.