A former member of the Gypsy Jokers Outlaw Motorcycle Club from Battle Ground has pleaded guilty to conspiring in racketeering that prosecutors allege led to the death of another former member in 2015.
The Oregonian first reported that Joseph Duane Folkerts, 62, had entered a guilty plea to the charges May 12. He was one of five named suspects indicted by a grand jury in federal court in Oregon in 2019 in connection to the death of Robert Huggins, then 56, who was discovered in a field near Ridgefield in 2015.
According to the 2019 indictment, Huggins was a disgraced member of the outlaw motorcycle club who was tortured and beaten to death in Woodland before having his body dumped in Clark County.
The prior year, Huggins had told a member of the club that he owed the club $5,000 and was badly beaten by club associates, according to the indictment. In June 2015, Huggins allegedly robbed the residence of the girlfriend of Gypsy Joker Portland chapter president Mark Dencklau, one of the other suspects alongside Folkerts, and subsequently was located in Portland by unnamed club associates later that month.
Huggins was kidnapped by some of the suspects and transported to Woodland where Folkerts became involved after meeting up with the others at a gas station off of Interstate 5, according to the indictment. Folkerts allegedly participated in the torture and subsequent death of Huggins.
The Oregonian’s report notes that Folkerts’ plea agreement had him acknowledge that the Gypsy Jokers were an “outlaw” motorcycle club involved in illegal activities between 2008 and 2018.
Folkerts is expected to be sentenced in federal court in November, The Oregonian reported.