PORTLAND, OR (KPTV) - A known gang member was indicted in Portland as part of a sweeping federal racketeering and murder investigation, according to the Department of Justice.
Billy Williams, the U.S. attorney for the District of Oregon, announced the indictment of Lorenzo Laron Jones, 46, on Thursday.
Investigators said Jones is a senior member of the Hoover Criminal Gang and, over the last 30 years, has been responsible for at least eight shootings and two murders.
Jones was already in jail when his case got moved up to the federal level. He appeared in federal court Thursday. He is charged with racketeering conspiracy and murder in aid of racketeering, using and carrying a firearm during a crime of violence, and causing death through the use of a firearm.
Investigators said Jones killed Ascensio Genchi Garcia on July 19, 1998 and Wilbert Butler on Sept. 17, 2017, both in Portland. Jones is accused of attempting to murder six other people, as well as possession of stolen guns and distribution of cocaine, heroin and methamphetamine.
Investigators said Hoover Gang members commit violence to maintain and promote their positions within the gang, including violence against rival gangs. The Hoover Gang is also involved in sex trafficking, as well as dealing guns and drugs, according to investigators.
Williams said the latest indictments make the community safer.
“Our message to gang members is wake up, stop the violence,” Williams said. “You will be held accountable. By the time your case reaches our desk, it’s too late. You’ll be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.”
In September, the DOJ announced the indictment of another Hoover Criminal Gang member, 34-year-old Ronald Rhodes. He’s charged with murdering Kyle Polk in December 2015 in connection with a shooting near Southeast 112th and Division Street in Portland.
Another Hoover Gang member, Javier Fernando Hernandez, 23, was also named in the indictment unsealed Thursday in connection with the killing of Polk.
The Department of Justice reports the cases of Jones, Rhodes and Hernandez will be tied together and each will face a maximum sentence of life in prison or death.
Portland Police Chief Danielle Outlaw said Thursday that there are dozens of shootings and murder cases in the city that still need to be solved.
Anyone with information about ongoing investigations is asked to contact Crime Stoppers of Oregon.
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