U.S. Attorney Williams Announces Progress in Making Community Safe Through Project Safe Neighborhood
PORTLAND, Ore.—One year ago, the Department of Justice announced the revitalization and enhancement of Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN), which Attorney General Sessions has made the centerpiece of the department’s violent crime reduction strategy.
PSN is an evidence-based program proven to be effective at reducing violent crime. Through PSN, a broad spectrum of stakeholders work together to identify the most pressing violent crime problems in the community and develop comprehensive solutions to address them. As part of this strategy, PSN focuses enforcement efforts on the most violent offenders and partners with locally based prevention and reentry programs for lasting reductions in crime.
“Project Safe Neighborhoods is a proven program with demonstrated results,” Attorney General Jeff Sessions said. “We know that the most effective strategy to reduce violent crime is based on sound policing policies that have proven effective over many years, which includes being targeted and responsive to community needs. I have empowered our United States Attorneys to focus enforcement efforts against the most violent criminals in their districts, and directed that they work together with federal, state, local, and tribal law enforcement and community partners to develop tailored solutions to the unique violent crime problems they face. Each United States Attorney has prioritized the PSN program, and I am confident that it will continue to reduce crime, save lives, and restore safety to our communities.”
“Keeping our communities safe is the most sacred duty of law enforcement officials at all levels of government. It remains a key focus of the U.S. Attorney’s Office and the entire federal law enforcement community,” said Billy J. Williams, U.S. Attorney for the District of Oregon. “The revitalized PSN program focuses federal resources in support of our state, local and tribal partners’ ongoing effort to reduce violent crime in Oregon. Over the past year, we’ve seen many of the district’s most violent criminals brought to justice as a result of this program.”
As we celebrate the one-year anniversary of the revitalized PSN program, here are some of the highlights of our PSN actions over the past year:
The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Oregon works in partnership with federal, state, local and tribal law enforcement agencies to investigate and prosecute the district’s most violent offenders under the PSN program. Recent prosecutions include:
U.S. v. Dencklau et al.
On June 28, 2018, a federal grand jury in Portland returned a four-count indictment charging three members and associates of the Gypsy Joker Outlaw Motorcycle Club (GJOMC) for racketeering, kidnapping and murder.
Mark Leroy Dencklau, 58, of Woodburn, Oregon; Earl Deverle Fisher, 48, of Gresham, Oregon; and Tiler Evan Pribbernow, 37, of Portland were charged with 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. Between June 30 and July 1, 2015, the defendants are alleged to have kidnapped, tortured, and murdered Robert Huggins, a resident of southeast Portland.
Huggins was a former treasurer of a local GJOMC chapter. The indictment alleges Dencklau, Fisher and Pribbernow engaged in the violent actions leading to Huggins’ death for the purpose of maintaining and increasing their positions in the GJOMC criminal enterprise.
A 10-day jury trial is scheduled for December 11, 2018.
U.S. v. Brockner
On August 14, 2018, Jesse Lee Brockner, 32, of Portland, was sentenced to 120 months in prison and three years’ supervised release for armed bank robbery and possessing a firearm in furtherance of a crime of violence.
In August 2017, three men burglarized and stole a vehicle from a barn in Yamhill County, Oregon. Two of the suspects fled in a moving truck and a third in the stolen vehicle. After Yamhill County Sheriff deputies located, 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 found 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. During the robbery, Brockner made numerous threats of physical violence and pointed a handgun at the teller. A witness observed Brockner walk through a parking lot adjacent to the bank and enter a vehicle matching the description of the stolen vehicle.
Approximately two hours later, an FBI Task Force Officer with the Portland Police Bureau (PPB) observed a vehicle matching the stolen vehicle’s description in Southeast 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 in Northeast Portland. Brockner was arrested and transported to a local hospital to receive medical attention.
U.S. v. Manzo
On August 27, 2018, Gonzalo Manzo, Jr., 33, of Fresno, California, pleaded guilty to one count each of conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute cocaine and possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime.
In 2017, Manzo coordinated the shipment of a kilogram of cocaine from California to Southern Oregon. Manzo and his co-conspirators sold the cocaine to undercover agents from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) in Oregon in exchange for firearms and $21,000 in cash. Manzo intended for the firearms and cash to be transported back to California but agents arrested Manzo and his co-conspirators and the firearms were seized by law enforcement.
Manzo will be sentenced on December 11, 2018.
U.S. v. Fleet
On September 4, 2018, Christopher James Fleet, 23, of Portland, was sentenced to 84 months in federal prison and five years of supervised release for possessing distribution quantities of methamphetamine and two firearms.
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.
These enforcement actions and partnerships 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. Learn more about Project Safe Neighborhoods.