Federal Indictment Charges Two Individuals with RICO and Other Capital Crimes in Furtherance of a White Supremacist Movement
|U.S. Attorney’s Office August 17, 2012|
PORTLAND, OR—David Joseph “Joey” Pedersen, 32, and Holly Ann Grigsby, 25, both of Portland, were indicted yesterday for racketeering activity in violation of the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (RICO) Act, RICO conspiracy, using a firearm in a crime of violence that caused death, kidnapping resulting in death, carjacking resulting in death, transportation of stolen vehicles, aggravated identity theft, credit card fraud, and being a felon in possession of a firearm, Amanda Marshall, U.S. Attorney for the District of Oregon, announced today. The charges all stem from an alleged 10-day crime spree that spanned from Everett, Washington, to Eureka, California, and included four murders.
Grigsby is scheduled to appear for arraignment before a U.S. Magistrate Judge in Seattle on August 20, 2012, at 2:30 p.m. Pedersen’s arraignment will be scheduled in Portland in the near future.
“The indictment in this case alleges horrendous crimes were committed as part of defendants’ white supremacist campaign to kidnap and murder targets on the basis of race, color, religion, and perceived ‘degenerate’ conduct,” said U.S. Attorney Marshall. “These crimes victimize not only individuals and their families, but entire communities. This indictment shows that we will work tirelessly with our federal and state partners to pursue allegations of bigotry and prejudice in order to protect all of our citizens from hate and violence. No one should live in fear of being attacked because of their race, religion, ethnicity, nationality, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, or disability. We hope this indictment brings the victims’ families one step closer to justice.”
The indictment charges that Pedersen and Grigsby were members of a criminal enterprise whose members and associates engaged in acts of violence and other criminal activity to promote a white supremacist movement to “purify” and “preserve” the white race. They are further charged with targeting Jewish leaders, members of prominent Jewish organizations, and other “Zionists” and using the media to publicize their movement in an attempt to spark a revolution. It is alleged that, among other things, Pedersen and Grigsby robbed victims in order to finance the enterprise and obtain cars for transportation and that they murdered victims to eliminate witnesses and avoid apprehension and prosecution. Pedersen and Grigsby are charged with the following crimes and racketeering acts, among others:
- the murder, kidnapping, and robbery of Pedersen’s father, David Joseph “Red” Pedersen, of Everett, on September 26, 2011, as well as using a firearm during and in relation to a crime of violence that resulted in death, the interstate transportation of Red Pedersen’s stolen vehicle, and credit card fraud and aggravated identify theft based on their use of Red Pedersen’s stolen credit cards;
- the murder, kidnapping, and robbery of Pedersen’s stepmother, Leslie “Dee Dee” Pedersen, of Everett, on September 26, 2011, as well as credit card fraud and aggravated identify theft based on their use of Leslie Pedersen’s stolen credit cards;
- the murder, kidnapping, and robbery of Cody Faye Myers, of Lafayette, Oregon, on October 1, 2011, as well as carjacking, using a firearm during and in relation to a crime of violence that resulted in death, and interstate transportation of a stolen vehicle;
- the murder, kidnapping, and robbery of Reginald Clark, of Eureka, on October 3, 2011, as well as using a firearm during and in relation to a crime of violence that resulted in death; and
- being a felon in possession of a firearm, which includes allegations that Pedersen is an armed career criminal.
“The FBI, along with our local and state law enforcement partners, put great value on protecting every American’s rights to worship freely and live without fear—regardless of race or religion,” said Greg Fowler, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI in Oregon. “Fairness, equality, and dignity are of fundamental importance under the U.S. Constitution, and we work each day to honor and uphold those civil liberties.”
The federal charges stem from an investigation led by the FBI; the Oregon State Police; the Everett Police Department; and the Eureka Police Department, with assistance from the Oregon Department of Corrections; Lincoln County, Oregon Sheriff’s Office; Lincoln County Major Crimes Team; Linn County, Oregon Sheriff’s Office; Benton County, Oregon Sheriff’s Office; Corvallis, Oregon Police Department; Salem, Oregon Police Department, Keizer, Oregon Police Department; California Highway Patrol; Yuba County, California Sheriff’s Office; Portland Police Bureau; U.S. Marshals Service; Tillamook County, Oregon Sheriff’s Office; Philomath, Oregon Police Department; Lebanon, Oregon Police Department; Stayton, Oregon Police Department; Snohomish County, Washington Sheriff’s Office; and the Oregon Department of Justice. This multi-state investigation is ongoing.
The use of a firearm during and in relation to a crime of violence which causes death, such as the crimes charged in counts three, five, and 12, carries a maximum penalty of death or consecutive sentences of imprisonment from 10 years to life. Kidnapping and carjacking resulting in death, as charged in counts four and 11, also carry a maximum penalty of death or imprisonment for any number of years up to life. The decision about whether to seek the death penalty will be made personally by the Attorney General of the United States at a later date. The other crimes charged in the indictment carry maximum penalties ranging from 10 years to life imprisonment and up to a $250,000 fine.
An indictment is only an accusation of a crime, and defendants should be presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.
The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Jane Shoemaker and Hannah Horsley.