Portland Gang Member Sentenced to Federal Prison for Straw Purchasing 64 Firearms and Trafficking Dozens to Unlawful Possessors
PORTLAND, Ore.—A self-identified member of Portland’s Unthank Park Hustlers, a local Bloods gang set, was sentenced to federal prison today for straw purchasing more than five dozen firearms from area gun shops and trafficking many of the guns to individuals prohibited by law from purchasing or possessing them.
Edward Charles Green, 25, of Gresham, Oregon, was sentenced to 30 months in federal prison and three years’ supervised release.
According to court documents, in May 2021, agents from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) opened an investigation after receiving information from the Gresham Police Department (GPD) and Multnomah County Sheriff’s Office (MCSO) describing several shooting incidents allegedly involving Edward Green and his twin brother, Thomas Green III, also 25 and from Gresham. At around the same time, ATF agents began receiving information alleging the brothers were also responsible for straw purchasing dozens of firearms from gun shops across the Portland metro area.
Early indications of the Green brothers’ straw purchasing activity were uncovered on April 23, 2020, when PPB officers responded to reports of a house struck by gunfire on Northeast Sumner Street in Portland. Officers observed that the gun appeared to have been fired from inside the Greens’ father’s nearby home, leaving a small hole in their father’s front window. After telling officers he threw a rock through his own window, the Greens’ father changed his explanation and claimed a gun accidentally fired when he was showing his son how to clean it. PPB located and seized three handguns and an AK-47 from the residence. ATF agents later determined Edward Green had straw purchased three of the four guns seized, indicating on a legally-required purchase form that the firearms were for himself and not purchased on behalf of another person.
Between August 25 and August 30, 2020, PPB officers recovered four more firearms straw purchased by Edward Green. One of the firearms was recovered after officers responded to a shooting incident outside the brothers’ southeast Portland apartment. Three others were recovered from a vehicle that had been involved in a shooting near Portland Adventist Hospital.
On November 11, 2020, MCSO deputies responded to a Fairview, Oregon car crash caused by gunfire involving Edward Green. After executing a search warrant on a backpack recovered from Green’s vehicle, the deputies found two more pistols Green had purchased and two pounds of packaged marijuana. A few months later, on January 23, 2021, MCSO deputies recovered another firearm straw purchased by Green during a traffic stop of other individuals.
In May 2021, GPD officers responded to two separate shooting incidents at a house shared by the Green brothers. During the first shooting, on May 12, 2021, an unknown assailant fired several rounds into the house. During the second shooting, on May 21, 2021, a drive-by assailant fired 14 additional rounds into the house. An unknown person in the house fired 30 rounds in response, some of which struck occupied neighboring houses. On June 3, 2021, members of the Metro Safe Streets Task Force executed a search warrant on the residence and found nine empty semi-automatic gun cases, several dozen spent bullets and cartridge casings, 27 firearm and rifle magazines, a range bag with more than 400 spent cartridges, and five receipts for recent gun purchases made by the Green brothers. Forensic analyses linked some of these items to at least 10 different shootings in the Portland area between April 6, 2020, and July 11, 2021.
In July and August 2021, two more firearms linked to the Green brothers were recovered by law enforcement. In total, between April 5, 2020, and August 30, 2021, area law enforcement officers recovered 12 firearms straw purchased by the Green brothers. A subsequent review of ATF and State of Oregon records revealed that in an 18-month period beginning April 1, 2020, the brothers straw purchased 82 firearms from Portland area gun shops.
On September 28, 2021, the Greens were charged by criminal complaint with falsifying information in connection with the acquisition of a firearm and making false statements to a federal firearms licensee. The next day, on September 29, 2021, Thomas Green III was arrested at the apartment of a gang associate in Portland. One week later, on October 6, 2021, Edward Green was arrested by ATF agents at his father’s northeast Portland residence.
On October 21, 2021, a federal grand jury in Portland returned an indictment charging the Greens with 41 counts of making false statements during the purchase of firearms. After the Greens were charged with these crimes, police continued recovering firearms purchased by the brothers. One gun, a .45 caliber Glock pistol, was recovered during the execution of a search warrant on the residence of another known Unthank Park Hustler gang member and associate of the Greens. The firearm was linked to 17 shootings in and around Portland in a 13-month period, including two homicides.
On June 23, 2023, the Green brothers pleaded guilty. Thomas Green III will be sentenced on October 10, 2023.
This case was investigated by members of the Metro Safe Streets Task Force including ATF, FBI, GPD, MCSO, and PPB. It is being prosecuted by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Oregon.
Straw purchasing firearms is a serious federal crime that involves buying guns for someone who is prohibited by law from possessing one or for someone who does not want his or her name associated with the purchase. According to the Bureau of Justice Statistics, 80 percent of criminals obtain their firearms from friends or family members or other illegal sources. To learn more about the public safety risks posed by straw purchasing firearms, please visit www.dontlie.org.
Formed in April 2021, the Metro Safe Streets Task Force is a multi-agency initiative focused on investigating and prosecuting gun crimes in Multnomah County. As part of this effort, federally-deputized officers from the Portland Police Bureau, Multnomah County Sheriff’s Office, and Gresham Police Department work with agents from the FBI and ATF to investigate gun crimes after they occur and, where appropriate and supported by evidence, charge those responsible in state or federal court. Prosecutors from the Multnomah County District Attorney’s Office and the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Oregon work closely with task force officers to determine if state or federal charges are warranted and which jurisdiction is most appropriate for adjudication.