Billy J. Williams, U.S. Attorney for the District of Oregon, announced today that a second Hoover Criminal Gang member has been indicted for the 2015 murder of Portland resident Kyle Polk.
Ronald Clayton Rhodes, 34, is charged with murder in aid of racketeering, using and carrying a firearm during a crime of violence, and causing the death of Polk through the use of a firearm.
The indictment alleges that on December 16, 2015, Rhodes, along with co-defendant Javier Fernando Hernandez, 23, also of Portland, murdered Polk for the purpose of maintaining and increasing his position in the Hoover Criminal Gang, a criminal enterprise engaged in racketeering in California, Oregon, Washington and elsewhere.
According to the indictment, the Hoovers are a criminal street gang operating in Oregon, and are known to engage in acts of violence including murder, assault, robbery, sex trafficking and the distribution of narcotics. 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 were expected to carry out violence on behalf of the enterprise.
Rhodes made his initial appearance in federal court today and was detained pending a four-week jury trial on November 12, 2019 before U.S. Chief District Court Judge Michael W. Mosman. Hernandez and Rhodes face the same charges and will stand trial together.
Murder in aid of racketeering carries a maximum sentence of death or life in prison.
This case was investigated by the FBI, the Portland Police Bureau, Multnomah County Sheriff’s Office and Homeland Security Investigations and is being prosecuted by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Oregon.