PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) – A longtime Hoover Criminal Gang member was sentenced to life in federal prison after nearly 30 years of violent racketeering in the Portland area, the Oregon District Attorney’s Office announced Thursday.
Lorenzo Laron Jones, 50, was found guilty of racketeering conspiracy, murder in aid of racketeering, and using and carrying a firearm during a crime of violence. He will now serve a life sentence plus 10 years and five years of supervised release.
The Hoovers are a criminal street gang in Oregon who have been known to commit violent crimes including murder, robbery and drug dealing, according to court records. Authorities say Jones was “among the gang’s most senior and violent members” who trained new recruits and used them to conduct gang business and violence.
“Lorenzo Jones was not only a leader of a violent street gang, he was also recruiting and grooming kids on the streets of Portland to carry out violent acts on behalf of this gang,” FBI Special Agent Kieran L. Ramsey said. “He’s been referred to as a ‘shot caller’, but he’s actually a violent criminal who used guns and drugs to wreak havoc on our shared community.”
During the trial, a jury found that Jones had murdered Wilbert Butler in 2017 and also committed several other crimes, including distributing controlled substances and attempted murder, according to prosecutors.
The Oregon DA’s office provided a brief history of the gang’s involvement in Portland:
The Hoovers originated in Los Angeles in the late 1960s and established a presence in Portland in the early 1980s. The gang has a loose hierarchical structure in which members have different amounts of power and influence based on age and gang activity. To maintain status and increase one’s position in the gang, members are expected to carry out violence on behalf of the enterprise.
Several other alleged Hoover members also face pending charges or have already been sentenced in federal court for crimes committed on behalf of the gang.