The national president of the Gypsy Joker Outlaw Motorcycle Club and five other members and associates have been charged with racketeering, kidnapping and murder in a new indictment unsealed Thursday.
Under the leadership of national president Kenneth Earl Hause, 61, of Aumsville, also known as the “Wiz’’ or “Boss,’’ members are accused of wielding their power through intimidation, violence and murder while enriching themselves through extortion, robbery and drug distribution, according to the indictment.
The indictment describes members involved in barroom brawls that left people unconscious, brutal assaults of rivals, threats to kill those who talked to police, beatings or torture of club members who got in the crosshairs of club leaders and the distribution of methamphetamine in one member’s motorcycle saddlebags.
In September 2018, Hause is accused of using large rings or brass knuckles to knock out the teeth of a member of the Oregon Veterans Motorcycle Association. Hause told the man that he had “30 days to shut (the veterans motorcycle club) down” and ordered him to no longer wear the Gypsy Joker patches, the government alleges. Hause threatened to kill anyone who reported the assault, the indictment says.
On another occasion, investigators allege Hause punched, kicked and stomped a fellow Gypsy Joker with his heavy motorcycle boots, knocking out several of the member’s teeth and telling him that he was no longer a member of the club.
In December 2008, Hause and other members allegedly assaulted people at Portland’s Bar 181 after learning that one of the victims had spoken to police about the motorcycle club. They hit one man in the face and struck another over the head with a sap weapon, knocking him out, the indictment says.
When a female associate was caught dancing with members of the rival Mongols Motorcycle Club , members of the Gypsy Jokers ordered her assault for “disrespecting’’ them, the indictment alleges. Angry with another Gypsy Jokers member, Hause and others are accused of showing up at his home, pushing him down a flight of stairs and then locking him outside in the snow barefoot, the indictment says.
Prosecutors had already charged four of the club’s members in the kidnapping and killing of Robert Lee Huggins, 56, in the summer of 2015 “to maintain and advance their positions in the Gypsy Joker Outlaw motorcycle gang, ” according to court records.
Huggins’ body was found by loggers on July 1, 2015, minutes after it was dumped in a Clark County field. He had a fractured skull, a broken rib, a broken leg, a removed nipple, nails driven through his boots, slash wounds to his back and face and many blows to his face.
Police believe Huggins was the target of a revenge killing. Police said the defendants acted together to kidnap Huggins from a Southeast Portland home by knocking him on the head with a hard object and zip-tying him. They are accused of killing him on a rural property near Woodland, Washington, then dumping his body in a field near Ridgefield, Washington.
Police and prosecutors contend the men were seeking revenge against Huggins for burglarizing the Woodburn home of Portland’s Gypsy Jokers president, Mark Leroy Dencklau, 58, and tying Dencklau’s girlfriend to a chair at gunpoint in June 2015.
Under the new indictment, Earl Deverle Fisher, 48, of Gresham; Ryan Anthony Negrinelli, 36, of Gresham; Joseph Duane Folkerts, 61, of Battle Ground, Washington; and an unnamed defendant are charged with 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. Fisher, Negrinelli and Folkerts entered not guilty pleas to the new indictment in U.S. District Court in Portland on Thursday afternoon.
Once arrested, investigators discovered jail notes passed between Dencklau and Fisher that helped tie them further to Huggins’ killing, according to prosecutors.
Fisher had handwritten notes that he shared with Dencklau while behind bars discussing the 2015 beating of Huggins, the taking of his property and his killing, according to the indictment.
Dencklau wrote to Fisher, “If we’re both hoping to be in a situation where we can testify in front of the jury, our testimony needs to be similar.”
Dencklau also cautioned Fisher to make sure the letters were “destroyed and gotten rid of.” “The last thing we need is something like that coming back to haunt us,” he wrote.
One of the accused, Tiler Evan Pribbernow, already pleaded guilty to conspiring to participate in a racketeering enterprise. He was an associate of the Gypsy Jokers through his membership in the Road Brothers Northwest Motorcycle Club, according to court records. He’s set for sentencing Feb. 13.
The Gypsy Jokers had a clubhouse on Northeast Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard and allowed in only white men 21 or older who had American-made bikes. They call themselves a “One Percent” bike club, referencing an old motorcyclist maxim that “99 percent” of bikers abide by the law while the other 1 percent are outlaws. They stitched the “1%” patches on their jackets or tattooed the sign on their bodies.
“Kenneth Hause is the leader of a criminal organization that, through its many chapters and support clubs, has sowed violence and intimidation throughout the Pacific Northwest,’’ Oregon’s U.S. Attorney Billy J. Williams said in a statement. “This is an organization whose members and associates pride themselves on living outside the law and use kidnapping, assault, murder and other forms of violence to extend and maintain their power.’’
— Maxine Bernstein