Jason Myers built and sold guns, a federal investigation alleges, and he talked about them a lot.
At his Rose City, Mich., home, he showed off the machinery he used to manufacture gun barrels and custom parts, according to an affidavit. In two days, he could fashion a silencer from a titanium tube, he explained to an associate in a phone video, and modify a rifle trigger so it could fire fully automatic, the affidavit states.
Prosecutors say Myers also bragged about his customers — members of a roster of outlaw motorcycle clubs, including the Jokers, Outlaws and Avengers. There was going to be a “war” between the Outlaws and the Hells Angels, he allegedly said as he discussed a purchase in October. He said he’d supplied the Avengers and Outlaws with machine guns and silencers, according to the affidavit.
But Myers, 53, had been bragging to an informant and an undercover federal agent, court documents say. Authorities arrested him earlier this month and charged him with selling firearms without a license.
An attorney for Myers did not immediately respond to a request for comment Wednesday evening, and declined to comment to Michigan news outlet MLive.
In a recently unsealed affidavit, special agents with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives described a months-long investigation into Myers using information gathered by several confidential informants and, eventually, an ATF agent working undercover.
One informant, a felon, told agents in September that they’d purchased a shotgun and pistol from Myers, the affidavit alleged.
Myers allegedly told the informant that he dealt guns to outlaw motorcycle gangs, national networks of counterculture bikers sometimes associated with criminal activity. Among his customers, the affidavit alleged, was Frank Bartels, who the affidavit alleges was the leader of a club based in Flint, Mich., called the Avengers.
Upon determining that Myers did not possess a federal firearms license, an undercover agent accompanied the informant to purchase a rifle from Myers at his home in October.
There, Myers revealed more details of his gunsmithing, according to the affidavit. He allegedly displayed three mills he used to produce metal gun parts, including barrels and trigger components. According to the undercover agent, Myers said he used aircraft aluminum to fashion his guns because it was harder to trace and sourced it from aircraft manufacturers Boeing or Honeywell, the affidavit states. He claimed to have served 26 years in the military, and said that he learned to work with weapons as a Marine, according to investigators. Marine Corps officials did not immediately respond to a request for confirmation that Myers served.
At one point during the visit, Myers “excitedly” showed the agent a black block of carbon fiber, according to the affidavit, and claimed to have made a carbon fiber “belt buckle gun” that would be undetectable in an X-ray machine.
Myers was arrested Dec. 2 after another informant allegedly told authorities Myers had sold a pump action shotgun to a drug dealer.
It is unclear whether the impending “war” Myers described between Michigan’s biker gangs in October came to pass, but violence between feuding motorcycle clubs is common. Nine people were killed and 18 injured in Waco, Tex., in a 2015 shootout between the Bandidos and the Cossacks. The same year, members of the Avengers were accused of assaulting members of another Michigan bike club in Springfield with bats and pipes, the Battle Creek Enquirer reported.
Upon his arrest, Myers was released on orders not to leave eastern Michigan or possess drugs or firearms, according to court records. He is due back in court Dec. 22.