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March 26, 2023

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Oregon man accused in connection with stolen firearms scheme

By , Columbian staff reporter

An Oregon man who’s accused in connection with a stolen firearms trafficking scheme that led to the July 23 shooting death of Clark County sheriff’s Sgt. Jeremy Brown is now scheduled for trial in June.

Brian Clement, 51, is charged with second-degree burglary, theft of a firearm and second-degree unlawful possession of a firearm in Clark County Superior Court.

He is named in court records as a co-defendant of Misty Raya. They are accused of breaking into a Hazel Dell storage unit in June 2021 and stealing dozens of guns and tens of thousands of rounds of ammunition.

Prosecutors have said that one of the guns stolen from the storage unit was used by Raya’s brother-in-law, Guillermo Raya Leon, to shoot Brown as he was working undercover at an apartment complex in east Vancouver.

Clement was transferred in February from the Snake River Correctional Institution in Ontario, Ore., to the Clark County Jail to face the local charges. He had been serving a 116-month prison sentence in Oregon for a number of offenses, including burglary and theft, court records show.

According to court records, a man reported to police that his storage unit was broken into between June 1 and June 3. Among other items, 27 firearms, 20,000 to 30,000 rounds of ammunition, his Social Security card, his birth certificate and his credit cards were stolen.

He said he learned of the burglary after being alerted to fraudulent activity on his credit cards, the court records state.

Surveillance footage from Public Storage, 7601 N.E. Fifth Ave., showed a dark blue Volvo XC 90, with three people inside, enter the facility around 6:30 a.m. June 1. The burglars entered a different unit to access the victim’s unit. They left and returned again later that morning, court records say.

Then, at about 3 p.m. June 2, the Volvo returned, this time using the victim’s entry code after the burglars rented another unit in his name. The surveillance footage captured two women in the vehicle and them loading up items, according to court records.

The following morning, at about 7:30, a Dodge pickup, driven by a man, later identified as Clement, is seen entering the facility using the victim’s entry code. Clement and a woman, later identified as Raya, are seen entering the victim’s unit and carrying what appears to be dozens of ammunition cases to the pickup, the court document states.

The victim’s credit card was used June 3 to make a $106 transaction through Telmate, a communications service used at many jails, the affidavit says. Investigators said they learned the inmate who was given the funds was Abran Raya Leon, who is described in court records as Raya’s husband, and was at the Clackamas County Jail in Oregon. Investigators said the couple discussed some of the stolen firearms in jail phone calls.

On July 6, investigators were notified that Clement was in custody at Northern Oregon Regional Correctional Facilities in The Dalles. He told investigators Raya contacted him about needing help getting into a secondary safe at a storage unit. He went with her and loaded the safe into his pickup, he said, along with other items, a supplemental affidavit states.

“He describes being paid for his services with four AR-15s, a 45 and three 9s,” the affidavit reads.

Investigators said Clement described the different firearms that were in the safe and thousands of rounds of ammunition by caliber, the court document says.

“He stated he has never seen someone have that much fire power. He stated there were ballistic helmets, vests and ‘ballistic blankets’ in the storage unit,” the investigator wrote in the affidavit.