A trial for the East Bridgewater man described by prosecutors as the regional boss of the Outlaws Motorcycle Club could last up to five days if he decides to fight a pending federal gun charge, records show.
A status conference in the case against Bruce “Monster” Sartwell, 48, was held Monday in US District Court in Boston, according to legal filings.
During the hearing, the parties indicated that if the matter “were to go to trial it would last approximately 3-5 days,” a legal document said. The filing said most of the discovery has been provided, and prosecutors expect “to produce additional discovery in [the] near future.”
Sartwell pleaded not guilty in January to a sole count of possession of an unregistered firearm, and on Feb. 14, Judge Denise J. Casper denied his motion for pre-trial release. He’s been held since his arrest last October.
He’s accused of possessing an unregistered AR-15 style rifle at his residence.
“This charge in and of itself is a serious charge … but the facts and circumstances in which firearm was discovered are also concerning as a public safety matter,” Casper wrote in her ruling. “Unlike the (non-firearm) Airsoft rifles affixed to the wall of the garage … the unregistered firearm, tools and manuals to assembly same, and the ammunition that could be used with it were concealed in hidden compartments throughout Sartwell’s residence.”
Prosecutors said previously in court papers in October that Sartwell “is the Regional President of the Brockton/East Bridgewater Chapters of the Outlaws Motorcycle Club.”
Casper also referenced Sartwell’s criminal record.
“Prior to the current criminal charge in this case, Sartwell had not be charged with any crime since 2010,” Casper wrote. “He does, however, have a criminal record which includes a 1996 conviction for assault and battery with a dangerous weapon (for which he received probation).”
The judge did acknowledge that she had received more than 20 letters of support for Sartwell, a married father of two who runs a tattoo and body piercing business with his wife.
And Sartwell’s public defenders wrote in a December filing that the government hadn’t uncovered evidence that their client planned to commit any acts of violence at the time of his arrest, adding that he “desperately” wants to return to his job so he can help his wife support their family and employees.
“There was absolutely no evidence presented at the detention hearing that would indicate that Mr. Sartwell was preparing for some speculative act of violence,” the defense wrote. “In fact, his total lack of violent and or criminal behavior within the last decade would weigh in favor of a conclusion to the contrary. The nature of the case alone, possession of an AR-15 rifle does not automatically lead to such a finding. Doing so is simply applying an inappropriate presumption of guilt.”
The defense described Sartwell as a “a member, and past President, of his local Chapter of the Outlaws Motorcycle Club,” and lamented that the government “has made this perfectly legal activity a focal point of its arguments in favor of detention.”
The next hearing in the case is slated for April 9.