Nov 19, 2023

Michigan man charged with making machine guns, silencers in anticipation of biker club war

The federal courthouse in downtown Bay City.

BAY CITY, MI — An Ogemaw County man is charged with a federal felony for allegedly making and selling machine guns and silencers in preparation for a war between motorcycle clubs.

Jason W. Myers, 53, on Dec. 2 had his first appearance before U.S. District Magistrate Judge Patricia T. Morris on a charge of dealing firearms without a license. The charge is punishable by up to five years in prison and a $250,000 fine.

The same day, the courts unsealed an affidavit in support of the charge, authored by a special agent with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (or ATF). The document states the investigation into Myers began with an informant sharing information on Myers selling machine guns, silencers, and methamphetamine from his Rose City residence.

On Sept. 16, ATF agents and Genesee County Sheriff's deputies met with the informant, who told them Myers has bragged about supplying the Outlaws and Avengers motorcycle clubs with guns. The informant alleged Myers makes fully automatic machine guns and pistols, as well as silencers.

Investigators determined Myers did not possess a federal firearms license and had been convicted of misdemeanors.

A few days later, the informant provided investigators with videos of Myers discussing how he makes silencers and describing installing drop-in sears to make guns fully automatic. One video also showed Myers discussing payment for the guns, the affidavit states.

On Sept. 30, the informant sent ATF agents a screenshot of a text message from Myers.

"The other is done, except for the drop in and quiet time," the message stated, with Myers going on to say he can get the items to the other person soon if they have the cash. The agent who penned the affidavit states that, based on his experience, "the drop in" is referring to the sear that converts a firearm to fully automatic status while "quiet time" is code for a silencer.

On Oct. 4, the informant and an undercover ATF agent went to Myers’ home, finding him assembling an AM-15 rifle. The agent saw numerous guns in Myers’ workshop, with Myers saying one AR-15-style rifle equipped with a night scope was full-automatic.

"Myers added that me makes very specific barrels for very specific guns," the ATF agent wrote. "Myers stated there is about to be a war, referencing violence between the Hells Angels motorcycle club and Outlaw motorcycle club."

The two clubs are rivals. The Outlaws formed in Illinois in 1935 and currently has four chapters in Michigan — one each in Bay City and Grand Rapids and two in Detroit, according to their website.

The Hells Angels was founded in California in 1948. They established a charter, named the Nomads, in central Michigan in 2020, according to their website.

Both clubs are self-described as "one-percenters," in reference to an apocryphal quote from a former American Motorcyclist Association president that 99% of motorcyclists were law-abiding people.

Myers went on to describe to the undercover agent how he makes drop-in sears and said he would meet the agent near Flint to provide him with a sear, the affidavit states.

Myers also excitedly told the agent he had recently made a belt buckle gun from carbon fiber for a customer, saying such a thing could go through an X-ray scanner without being detected. Myers went on to agree to sell the undercover agent a rifle with an auto-sear and silencer for $1,200, saying he had three orders ahead of his.

The same day, the informant paid Myers $1,100 for an AM-15, according to the document. Myers also provided the informant with a 100-round drum-style magazine, the agent wrote.

The following week, the agent called Myers to ask about the status of his order. Myers said he was nearly finished with the order, having completed three other firearms that day.

In November, a Genesee County Sheriff's sergeant was informed by another informant that two known drug dealers had come to his house and exchanged a Mossberg 500 pump-action shotgun for $300. The shotgun had been altered by Myers, the informant alleged.

The shotgun was left at the informant's house, with the informant turning it over the police, the affidavit states.

At Myers’ Dec. 2 appearance before Judge Morris, Assistant U.S. Attorney J. Michael Buckley said his office was not seeking to have Myers detained pending trial. Morris freed Myers on a $10,000 unsecured bond, conditions of which restrict his travel to the Eastern District of Michigan and prohibit him from possessing guns, explosives, or other dangerous weapons.

Saginaw attorney Alan A. Crawford has been appointed to represent Myers. Contacted by MLive, Crawford declined to comment on the case.

Myers’ case is scheduled for a preliminary examination at 10 a.m. on Dec. 22.

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