OR: Portland double shooting during cannabis ripoff lands gunman in federal prison for 17.5 years

Ernest F. Evans, a 41-year-old man known on the street as “Smoke” who shot two people during an orchestrated marijuana robbery in Southeast Portland, was sentenced Thursday to 17.5 years in federal prison.

Evans and accomplice Likee S. Finney were both masked when they emerged from behind the corner of a building of the Country Square Apartments with guns drawn on Aug. 3, 2017, yelled, “Give me the weed!” and robbed two men who were delivering a large black crate containing 10 pounds of marijuana.

Evans fired a sawed-off shotgun, striking one of the men in the arm as he reached for a revolver and chased the second man and shot him in the back as he was about to scale a wooden fence, according to trial testimony. The shotgun blast knocked the man over the fence, according to testimony at Evans’ trial.

Evans split the stash of pot between his accomplices to sell, according to prosecutors and witnesses.

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PORTLAND, Ore.—A Portland man convicted at trial for shooting and robbing two illicit marijuana dealers was sentenced to more than 17 years in federal prison today.

Earnest Franklin Evans, also known as Ladarius Franklin Bolds, was sentenced to 210 months in federal prison and five years’ supervised release.

“Without hesitation, Earnest Evans shot two men with a sawed-off shotgun in a dense residential neighborhood in southeast Portland. We must put an end to violence like this is in our community,” said Steven T. Mygrant, Chief of the Narcotics and Criminal Enterprises Unit of the United States Attorney’s Office for the District of Oregon.

“There should be no doubt Evans is a violent felon who holds no regard for public safety,” said Special Agent in Charge Robert Hammer, who oversees HSI operations in the Pacific Northwest. “I commend our agents and our partners at PPB, FBI, and ATF for another successful joint investigation.”

According to court documents and trial testimony, on August 3, 2017, an associate of Evans set up a ruse to purchase 10 pounds of marijuana from two local illicit marijuana dealers. After arriving at an agreed upon location, the two dealers wheeled out a large black tote full of marijuana. Shortly thereafter, two masked men—Evans and a second associate—came out from behind the corner of a building with guns drawn. Evans had a sawed-off shotgun and his associate had a pistol. Evans shot one of the marijuana dealers in the arm and the second in the back as he was fleeing. Evans and his associates took the marijuana and divided it with one another. For his participation in the robbery, Evans received two pounds of marijuana.

Evans was arrested on November 19, 2018, following the execution of a federal search warrant on his Portland residence. Investigators located and seized a shotgun and ammunition from Evan’s residence.

On May 11, 2021, a federal grand jury in Portland returned a two-count superseding indictment charging Evans with robbery and using, carrying, and discharging a firearm during a crime of violence and drug trafficking crime. On June 17, 2021, he was found guilty on both charges.

This case was investigated by Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) with assistance from the Portland Police Bureau, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF), and the FBI. It was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Peter D. Sax and Jeffrey S. Sweet.

This case is part of Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN), the centerpiece of the Department of Justice’s violent crime reduction efforts. 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.


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