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Investigators crack down on motorcycle club, two Gresham members await sentencing

COURTESY PHOTO: KOIN 6 NEWS - (From left) Ryan Anthony Negrinelli, 36; Joseph Duane Folkerts, 61; Earl Deverle Fisher, 48A court ruling has found several members of an international motorcycle club guilty of kidnapping and murder, in aid of racketeering, in a sweeping case that cracked down on the Portland clubhouse.

A federal jury in Portland found two leading members of the Gypsy Joker Outlaw Motorcycle Club guilty for the 2015 revenge kidnapping and murder of Robert Huggins, a Portland resident and former club member. The case involved several members who live in Gresham.

Portland clubhouse president Mark Leroy Dencklau, 61, of Woodburn, and Portland clubhouse member Chad Leroy Erickson, 51, of Rainier, were both found guilty of murder in aid of racketeering; kidnapping in aid of racketeering; kidnapping resulting in death; and conspiracy to commit kidnapping. Dencklau was also found guilty of racketeering conspiracy.

The jury acquitted Erickson and Gypsy Joker national president Kenneth Early Hause, 64, of Aumsville, of racketeering conspiracy.

"Organized crime will not be tolerated in the District of Oregon," said Scott Erik Asphaug, acting U.S. attorney for Oregon. "Dencklau, Erickson and other members of the Gypsy Joker Outlaw Motorcycle Club prided themselves in using violence to intimidate others and bolster their sense of power and influence."

"The kidnapping, torture, and murder of Robert Huggins was a gruesome example of the lengths these men were willing to go to exert their authority over rivals and perceived enemies," Asphaug added.

On July 1, 2015, Huggins, an estranged member of the Portland Gypsy Joker chapter, was found dead in a field in Clark County, Washington. He had been badly beaten and appeared to have been tortured prior to his death in revenge for stealing from the club. The medical examiner ruled his death was caused by multiple blunt and sharp-force injuries.

On June 28, 2018, a federal grand jury in Portland returned a four-count indictment charging Dencklau; Earl Deverle Fisher, 48, of Gresham; and Tiler Evan Pribbernow, 40 of Portland with murder and kidnapping in aid of racketeering.

Later that year Dencklau, Fisher, Erickson, Hause, Ryan Anthony Negrinelli, 36 of Gresham, and Joseph Duane Folkerts, 61, of Battleground, Washington, were charged by superseding indictment with racketeering conspiracy.

Fisher, Negrinelli, Folkerts, and Pribbernow are awaiting sentencing.

According to court documents, the Gypsy Jokers is a criminal organization wherein members maintain status by committing violent acts including murder, kidnapping, robbery, extortion, narcotics trafficking, and witness tampering. Since the 1980s the club has been active in Oregon and Washington, with six clubhouses in the Pacific Northwest.

There were also several support clubs in Oregon that were implicated by court documents in the criminal activities, including the Road Brothers Northwest Motorcycle Club, Solutions Motorcycle Club, Northwest Veterans Motorcycle Club, High-Side Riders, and the Freedom Fellowship Motorcycle Club.

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