MIAMI, Okla. – A Kansas couple who allegedly teamed up to lure a truck driver to a casino parking lot where he told authorities he was robbed are being held in the Ottawa County jail, said Drug Task Force Director Mike Eason on Sunday.
Kalen Ray McRay, 35, of Independence, Kan., and Karla Joan Lassen, 38, of Parsons, Kan. are being held in the Ottawa County jail on complaints of first-degree robbery, conspiracy to commit robbery in the first degree, assault with a deadly weapon and possession of a firearm in the commission of a felony.
Lassen also faces a complaint of possession of a firearm after a former felony conviction.
The victim told Denton Ward, a Drug and Violent Crimes Task Force and Bureau of Indian Affairs agent, a woman approached him inside Buffalo Run Casino asking for a lighter, according to a detention affidavit.
The woman was later identified as Lassen, the affidavit states.
The victim and Lassen walked to his semi-truck and while inside the cab Lassen asked for $20, the affidavit states. The victim told investigators he gave Lassen the money and after Lassen left, he went to sleep in his semi-truck.
The victim was woken up when he heard someone knocking on the passenger door of his semi-truck cab and when he answered the door, Lassen forced her way into the truck, the affidavit states. Lassen was followed by a man, later identified as McRay who was holding a weapon the victim described as a “machine gun,” the affidavit states.
McRay held the door open while Lassen allegedly grabbed some of the victim’s belongings including his cell phone, the affidavit states. After the clash with Lassen and McRay, the victim told investigators he discovered an unknown cell phone and a pair of women’s underwear he believed to belong to Lassen in the semi-truck’s cab, the affidavit states.
Buffalo Run Casino surveillance video shows Lassen and McRay getting out of a car belonging to a woman who had no knowledge of the alleged robbery and approaching the semi-truck’s cab, the affidavit states.
Several hours later authorities stopped the owner of the vehicle, the affidavit states. Authorities seized a semi-automatic DPMS AR-style rifle, methamphetamine and a cell phone with a missing SIM card from the car’s trunk, the affidavit states.
The driver was not arrested.
“The follow-up investigation led the officers to the Grove area and with the assistance of the Grove Police Department, the Delaware County Sheriff’s Office and the Oklahoma Highway Patrol the suspects were taken into custody without incident at the Grove Best Western Motel,” Eason said.
Drug Task Force agents Jacob Hamblett, who is also a Wyandotte Nation officer, and Ward searched the hotel room. They seized a broken cell phone that matched the description of the victim’s phone, which had been thrown into a toilet, multiple backpacks including a camo backpack that contained a ghillie suit, multiple magazines for an AR-style rifle, and multiple rounds of ammunition in different calibers including 9mm and shotgun ammunition, the affidavit states.
Eason explained a “ghillie suit” is camouflage clothing that resembles foliage, snow or sand allowing the person wearing the suit to blend in with the environment and go unnoticed or undetected.
“Agents Hamblett and Ward worked tirelessly overnight to wrap up this case and make the arrests in less than 12 hours,” Eason said.
Lassen and McRay have a history of drugs and burglary violations, according to online records
In 2019 Larson was convicted in Labette County, Kansas and served five months in the Kansas Department of Corrections on burglary convictions. She also faced legal trouble in California for child cruelty and drug violations.
McRay served 22 months in the Kansas Department of Corrections for burglary, evading a roadblock and vehicle moving violations.