Motorcycle Gang Leader Arrested on Federal Weapons Charge, Police Say

Officials executed a search warrant Wednesday at Bruce "Monster" Sartwell's home in East Bridgewater

A member of an outlaw motorcycle gang was arrested in Massachusetts on Wednesday for allegedly possessing an AR-15 style rifle not registered to him, according to authorities.

Bruce Sartwell was taken into custody at his home in East Bridgewater after the Department of Homeland Security executed a search warrant at the Plymouth Street residence around 10 a.m..

The 48-year-old, who goes by the nickname Monster, is the regional president of the Brockton/East Bridgewater Chapter of the Outlaws Motorcycle Club.

According to court documents, investigators found multiple black powder rifles and a black-powder pistol inside. They also located numerous hidden rooms and compartments where they allegedly found about 150 rounds of ammunition, about 20 knives, illegal silencers, and an instruction book about how to make an AR15.

According to a criminal complaint, DHS officers found what's believed to be a "ghost gun" — a firearm without any manufacturing or serial numbers on it so it can't be traced — hidden in a bar in the man's garage. 

Authorities said Sartwell, a tattoo shop owner, had a gun license issued in 1992 that expired in 1999. His wife's license expired in 2014, they said. 

According to an affidavit filed by DEA special agent Michael Belli, Sartwell is a convicted felon with arrests and arraignments dating back to 1987. 

The DHS began investigating earlier this month after learning a firearm silencer had allegedly been shipped to Sartwell from China. 

Since December of last year, some 65 shipments from Asia were sent to Sartwell, mislabeled to avoid suspicion, the complaint alleges. 

It’s unknown what Sartwell’s intentions may have been, but the court filings indicate his motorcycle club has been in a violent feud with the Hell’s Angels, a feud that resulted in murder charges against an Outlaws member after a Hell’s Angel was shot and killed in Fall River last month.

Authorities said the warrant was executed without incident on Wednesday. Sartwell was placed into custody on federal charges and transported to the U.S. District Court in Boston.

He will remain in custody for the time being, and he’ll have a detention hearing on Friday. His attorney declined to make a statement.

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