TIMELINE: DEA bike collision

Here are key events in the case of a DEA agent charged with killing a Salem cyclist in March 2023. The prosecution is pending federal court action on whether the agent can seek immunity and get the case dismissed. Newly-released court documents provided previously confidential information about the collision.

March 28, 2023

Fatal cyclist collision

Marganne Allen is killed in a collision at High and Leslie Streets. Minutes after emergency crews arrive, an undercover Salem drug investigator texts crash photos to a DEA official. Public information officers for the two agencies begin a chain of phone calls that keep up over four days.

March 29, 2023

Police issue public statement

Salem police’s initial statement identifies the driver as Samuel Landis, but lists no occupation. The agency begins communicating with Keizer Police about the crash. Salem Reporter seeks to confirm whether the driver is a DEA agent.

March 31, 2023

Driver identified as DEA agent

Salem police share body camera video related to the crash with Marion County prosecutors.
Salem police issue second public statement, disclosing that the driver is a DEA agent and the case is being transferred to Keizer police.

May 12, 2023

Keizer reports findings to prosecutors

Keizer police submit an initial report of their findings to the Marion County District Attorney’s Office.

May 15, 2023

Details emerge about driver’s conduct

Salem Reporter reports on video showing the driver drove through the neighborhood at excessive speed, past the stop sign and into the intersection where the collision occurred.

June 20, 2023

Keizer reports more findings to DA

Keizer police submit additional investigative work to the district attorney’s office.

July 21, 2023

Grand jury proceedings begin

The Marion County District Attorney’s office begins grand jury proceedings.

Aug. 17, 2023

DA asks Keizer for more investigation

Prosecutors again ask Keizer police to investigate further.

Aug. 28, 2023

Investigators submit final report

Keizer police submit an additional report to the district attorneys office.

Aug. 31, 2023

Grand jury proceedings conclude

A Marion County grand jury had three days of proceedings in the case before returning an indictment.

Sept. 6, 2023

DEA agent is charged

A Marion County grand jury indicts DEA agent Samuel Landis on a charge of criminally negligent homicide in the cyclist’s death.

Landis was arrested and released the same day after posting $2,000 bail.

A portion of the document from Landis’ attorneys asking a judge to move the case to federal court.

Judge moves case to federal court, Landis pursues immunity defense

U.S. District Judge Michael McShane ordered Landis’ criminal case moved to federal court after a request from the agent’s attorneys.

In court filings, Landis admitted he ran a stop sign but argued he should be immune from prosecution because he was acting as a federal agent tracking a drug dealer.

Jan. 9, 2024

(Ron Cooper/Oregon Capital Chronicle)

State appeals Landis case being moved to federal court

Oregon Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum challenges the decision to move Landis’ prosecution to federal court, arguing the agent’s immunity defense is unjustified.

Contact reporter Rachel Alexander: [email protected] or 503-575-1241.


New records show drug cartel ties, DEA agent’s actions leading to fatal crash

State asserts DEA agent has no federal immunity for fatal Salem collision

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Rachel Alexander is Salem Reporter’s managing editor. She joined Salem Reporter when it was founded in 2018 and covers city news, education, nonprofits and a little bit of everything else. She’s been a journalist in Oregon and Washington for a decade. Outside of work, she’s a skater and board member with Salem’s Cherry City Roller Derby and can often be found with her nose buried in a book.