members of the Gypsy Joker Outlaw Motorcycle Club (GJOMC) were
sentenced to life in federal prison yesterday for kidnapping, torturing,
and murdering a former club member.
GJOMC Portland clubhouse president Mark Leroy Dencklau, 61, of
Woodburn, Oregon, and member Chad Leroy Erickson, 51, of Rainier,
Oregon, received life sentences after being convicted at trial in
December 2021 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. Additionally,
Dencklau was found guilty of racketeering conspiracy.
According to court documents and trial testimony, the GJOMC is a
criminal organization wherein members and associates maintain their
position and status in the organization by participating in, directly or
indirectly, various acts of violent racketeering activity including
murder, kidnapping, robbery, extortion, narcotics trafficking, and
witness tampering. From 2003 until his arrest in 2018, Dencklau served
as the president of the GJOMC’s Portland chapter.
According to evidence presented at trial, on July 1, 2015, the body
of Robert Huggins, an estranged member of the GJOMC Portland chapter,
was found lying in a field in Clark County, Washington. Huggins’ body
was badly beaten, and appeared to have been tortured prior to his death.
Huggins was previously stripped of his club membership for allegedly
stealing from the club and from Dencklau in particular. Following this
robbery, Dencklau directed GJOMC members to find Huggins.
According to testimony presented at trial, on the evening of June 30,
2015, Dencklau and others kidnapped Huggins from a residence in
Portland and transported him to a rural property in Southwest
Washington. Over the course of several hours, Huggins was severely
beaten and tortured. He sustained numerous injuries to his head and
face, including a fractured skull, as well as lacerations to his chest
and torso. Trial evidence showed that Erickson, who took part in the
torture of Huggins, slashed Huggin’s tattoo with a knife and then
stabbed him in the leg. He then helped load Huggins into a vehicle and
left him in a field. A medical examiner ruled that Huggins’ death was
caused by multiple blunt and sharp force injuries.
Assistant Attorney General Kenneth A. Polite, Jr. of the Justice
Department’s Criminal Division, U.S. Attorney Scott Erik Asphaug for the
District of Oregon, and Special Agent in Charge Jonathan T. McPherson
of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) Seattle
Field Division made the announcement.
This case was investigated by the Portland Police Bureau and ATF,
with assistance from the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force
(OCDETF), U.S. Marshals Service, IRS-Criminal Investigation, the Clark
County Sheriff’s Office, Oregon State Police and the Oregon and
Washington State Crime Labs.
Trial Attorney Damaré Theriot of the Criminal Division’s Organized
Crime and Gang Section and Assistant U.S. Attorneys Leah K. Bolstad and
Steven T. Mygran for the District of Oregon prosecuted the case.