PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — Two Portland members of the Gypsy Joker Outlaw Motorcycle Club were sentenced to life in federal prison for kidnapping, torture and murder of a former club member.
The U.S. Attorney’s Office of the District of Oregon announced the life sentences of Mark Leroy Dencklau, the Portland clubhouse president, and Chad Leroy Erickson, a Portland clubhouse member, on Thursday after they were convicted 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. Furthermore, Dencklau was found guilty of racketeering conspiracy.
Dencklau, who lived in Woodburn, and Erikson, who lived in Rainer, were convicted in the murder of Robert Huggins, a former Gypsy Joker member whose badly beaten body was found in a Clark County field in Washington state in early July 2015. Authorities said Huggins appeared to have been tortured before his death.
Huggins had reportedly been stripped of his Gypsy Joker Outlaw Motorcycle Club membership after he allegedly stole from the club and then broke into Dencklau’s home, tying up his girlfriend and stealing multiple firearms.
Witnesses testified that Huggins had been kidnapped by Dencklau and Erickson and other co-defendants from a Portland home during the evening of June 30, 2015, and taken to a rural property in Southwest Washington, where, over the course of several hours, Huggins was beaten and tortured, according to authorities.
Huggins’ body had numerous injuries to his head and face, lacerations to his chest and torso, and was missing his nipples.
“Mark Dencklau and Chad Erickson will rightfully serve the rest of their lives in federal prison. These men prided themselves in using violence to intimidate others and increase their power and influence among club members and rivals. Organized violent crime has no place in Oregon and will not be tolerated. Today’s sentences were years in the making and required a dedicated and coordinated law enforcement effort. We are grateful to all the law enforcement agencies who participated in bringing these men to justice and exposing the Gypsy Jokers as the ruthless, violent gang they are,” Scott Erik Asphaug, U.S. Attorney for the District of Oregon, said in a press release.
“The heinous nature of these crimes truly warrant these life sentences,” said ATF Seattle Field Division Special Agent in Charge Jonathan T. McPherson said in a press release. “ATF has vigorously investigated, and will continue to investigate, these outlaw motorcycle gangs when they perpetrate criminal acts.”