Two Oregon Men Plead Guilty to Firearms Offenses
PORTLAND, Ore. – In separate criminal cases, two Oregon men pleaded guilty today in federal court to possessing a firearm in furtherance of a crime of violence or drug trafficking crime in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 924(c).
Jess L. Brockner, 32, pleaded guilty to one count each of possessing a firearm in furtherance of a crime of violence and bank robbery. Christopher J. Fleet, 23, of Portland, pleaded guilty to one count each of possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime and possession with intent to distribute heroin.
U.S. v. Brockner
According to court records, on August 30, 2017, three men burglarized a barn in Yamhill County, Oregon, stealing the victim’s vehicle and filling a rented moving truck with the victim’s belongings. Two of the suspects fled in the moving truck and a third in the victim’s vehicle. After Yamhill County Sheriff deputies arrested and interviewed the two suspects who fled in the moving truck, they identified Brockner as the third suspect. During a search of the moving truck, deputies located a backpack containing approximately $4,000, drug paraphernalia, and Brockner’s driver’s license.
Later the same morning, Brockner robbed a U.S. Bank branch in Beaverton, Oregon wearing a welding mask and holding a firearm. While executing the robbery, Brockner made numerous threats of physical violence and pointed a handgun at the victim teller. A witness observed Brockner walk through a parking lot adjacent to the bank and enter a vehicle matching the description of the vehicle stolen earlier that morning from the barn in Yamhill County.
Approximately two hours later, an FBI Task Force Officer with the Portland Police Bureau (PPB) observed a vehicle matching the description of the stolen vehicle on the 3900 block of SE Powell Boulevard in Portland. After confirming Brockner’s identity, multiple marked PPB patrol units responded to assist the Task Force Officer. A high risk traffic stop was attempted and led to a vehicle pursuit. The pursuit ended in a crash and an officer involved shooting at NE 55th Avenue between East Burnside Street and NE Couch Street in Portland. Brockner was arrested and transported to Legacy Emanuel Hospital to receive medical attention.
Brockner faces a maximum sentence of life in prison and is subject to a seven-year mandatory minimum, a $250,000 fine, and up to five years’ supervised release. He will be sentenced on Tuesday, August 14, 2018 before U.S. District Court Judge Michael W. Mosman.
This case is being prosecuted by Benjamin Tolkoff and John Brassell, Assistant U.S. Attorneys for the District of Oregon.
U.S. v. Fleet
On August 23, 2017, deputies from the Multnomah County Sheriff’s Office Special Investigation Unit were conducting surveillance at a known drug and gang house in Portland. They observed a vehicle parked in front of the house they believed was connected with Fleet, a drug dealer with an outstanding arrest warrant. Upon leaving the house and attempting to drive away, deputies blocked Fleet using unmarked vehicles and approached him wearing marked law enforcement raid vests. After initially refusing to comply with the deputy’s commands to raise his hands and failing to find an escape route, Fleet surrendered.
During the arrest, deputies found a Kel Tec 9mm firearm and distribution quantities of heroin and methamphetamine on Fleet’s person. They also found a locked backpack in Fleet’s vehicle. The backpack was later found to contain .40 caliber Sig Sauer pistol, drug records, and a digital scale.
Fleet faces a maximum sentence of life in prison and is subject to a five-year mandatory minimum, a $1,000,000 fine, and up to five years’ supervised release. He will be sentenced on Wednesday, September 5, 2018 before U.S. District Court Judge Anna J. Brown.
This case is being prosecuted by Leah K. Bolstad, Assistant U.S. Attorney for the District of Oregon.
Both cases are part of Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN), a program bringing together all levels of law enforcement and the communities they serve to reduce violent crime and make our neighborhoods safer for everyone. Attorney General Jeff Sessions reinvigorated PSN in 2017 as part of the Department’s renewed focus on targeting violent criminals, directing all U.S. Attorney’s Offices to work in partnership with federal, state, local, and tribal law enforcement and the local community to develop effective, locally-based strategies to reduce violent crime.