A Texas man was sentenced Thursday to seven years in prison for his role in a Central Point home-invasion marijuana robbery that culminated with a car crash in east Medford.
Ashton Shamar Garrett, 21, of Fort Worth, said little in Jackson County Circuit Court when he pleaded guilty to burglary, robbery and vehicle theft charges for his part in stealing several pounds of marijuana from a Central Point man in a robbery that involved a handgun, an AR-15 rifle and the victim strapped to a chair.
Late in the afternoon of Feb. 13, Garrett, fellow Texan Erick Yair Cervantes Molinero and an unknown third subject pulled out guns in the 800 block of Greenleaf Lane during what the victim had expected to be a marijuana sale, according to police.
Garrett told police he used a Glock 21 handgun in the robbery, but never pointed it at anyone, court documents say.
Within about 30 minutes of the robbery, Oregon State Police spotted a silver Honda Civic coupe with Texas plates on southbound Interstate 5, and tried to stop the car.
Molinero, the driver, took Exit 27 and tried to elude police through east Medford, blowing stoplights and driving over sidewalks at high speeds. A trooper used his pursuit vehicle to nudge the Honda, causing it to spin out of control, cross a median and hit an oncoming pickup.
The Honda’s trunk reportedly flew open in the crash, where police found multiple bags of marijuana and the butt stock of the AR-15 in the trunk. In the back seat, police found an AK-47 rifle.
Victims were notified, but did not attend the hearing.
Circuit Judge Lorenzo Mejia sentenced Garrett to 84 months in prison.
Mejia expressed concern at the nature of the crime, and its growing frequency.
“I’m really shocked at how many people are coming from out of state to rob our growers and our processors and our stores,” Mejia said.
Robbery in the second degree is a Measure 11 crime under Oregon law that carries a mandatory-minimum 70-month prison sentence, meaning Garrett won’t be eligible for any earned time or alternative incarceration programs until he serves 70 months.
Molinero, also from the Fort Worth, area, was sentenced to 76 months in prison in April, after he pleaded no-contest to robbery, burglary, assault and coercion charges. While not an admission of guilt, a no-contest plea has the same legal consequences as a guilty plea.
A third suspect, who Central Point police said was spotted on surveillance video at a local NAPA auto parts store about an hour before the robbery, has not been identified.
Police released surveillance images showing the suspect inside the business. He was described as African American, in his early 30s, about 5-foot-7-inches with an athletic build.
He was wearing a black hooded sweatshirt with the words “My gym can beat up your gym” on the back, and a logo for a mixed-martial arts fighting gym located near Fort Worth. Anyone with information about the third man’s identity or whereabouts is asked to call Central Point police at 541-664-5578.
Reach Mail Tribune reporter Nick Morgan at 541-776-4471 or email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter at @MTCrimeBeat.