Two members of the Gypsy Joker Outlaw Motorcycle Club have been found guilty of racketeering conspiracy charges in the 2015 kidnapping and murder of former Portland club member Robert Huggens.
But a lone racketeering conspiracy charge against the club’s national president and longtime Aumsville resident, Kenneth Earl Hause, 64, was dismissed last week, according to a release from the U.S. Attorney’s Office District of Oregon.
Portland clubhouse president Mark Leroy Dencklau, 61, of Woodburn, and clubhouse member Chad Leroy Erickson, 51, of Rainier, face life in prison after jurors found them guilty of murder in aid of racketeering; kidnapping in aid of racketeering, resulting in death; kidnapping resulting in death; and conspiracy to commit kidnapping, resulting in death. Dencklau was found guilty of racketeering conspiracy, while Erickson was acquitted of the same charge.
Dencklau and Erickson are scheduled to be sentenced Feb. 28, 2022, federal court documents show.
The club is described as a hierarchical criminal organization where members maintained their status by participating in acts of racketeering including murder, kidnapping, robbery, extortion and narcotics trafficking, according to court documents and trial testimony.
Since the 1980s, the club has been active in several states including Oregon and Washington and, until recently, operated six clubhouses in the Pacific Northwest, including one in Salem. The club also has international chapters in Germany, Australia and Norway, according to U.S. Department of Justice officials.
“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,” U.S. Attorney for the District of Oregon Scott Erik Asphaug said. “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 thanked law enforcement agencies including Portland Police Bureau and Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives, the U.S. Marshals Service, IRS-Criminal Investigation, the Clark County Sheriff’s Office, Oregon State Police, and the Oregon and Washington State Crime Labs for their investigation that led to the members’ arrest and prosecution.
Previous coverage:Gypsy Joker gang members charged with murder, racketeering, kidnapping
On July 1, 2015, Robert Huggins, a former member of the Gypsy Joker’s Portland chapter was found lying in a field in Clark County, Washington, department of justice officials said.
Huggins’ body was badly beaten and he appeared to have been tortured before his death.
Huggins was previously stripped of his club membership for allegedly stealing from the club and, after breaking into Dencklau’s Woodburn residence, tying up Dencklau’s girlfriend and stealing multiple firearms, officials said.
In the days and weeks following the alleged theft, Dencklau directed club members to find Huggins.
Dencklau and others kidnapped Huggins June 30, 2015 from a Portland residence and brought him to a rural property in Southwest Washington where they tortured and beat him for several hours.
Huggins suffered a fractured skull; lacerations to his chest and torso; and removed nipples. A medical examiner ruled his death was caused by multiple blunt and sharp force injuries.
Several members of the club, including Dencklau, Earl Fisher, 48, of Gresham, and Tiler Evan Pribbernow, 40, of Portland, were indicted in June 2018 on murder in aid of racketeering; kidnapping in aid of racketeering, resulting in death; kidnapping resulting in death; and conspiracy to commit kidnapping, resulting in death.