Buyer of illegal ammo planned shooting spree, police say, in arrest recalling October incident
A Cambridge man believed by police to be planning a shooting spree was arraigned Wednesday in Cambridge District Court for illegal possession of ammunition, and faces more charges of buying 150 rounds of ammunition without a license at a weekend gun show.
It’s the second weapons-related arrest in Cambridge within a little over four months suggestive of plans for mass violence.
Brian Schwarztrauber, 54, was taken into custody Saturday by Wilmington police at the Northeast Gun Show in Shriners Auditorium, where he was “being disruptive” and giving off “a strong odor of alcohol,” according to the office of Middlesex District Attorney Marian Ryan.
“While police were speaking to the defendant they received notification from Cambridge Police concerning statements allegedly made by the defendant indicating that he was going to use a firearm and ammunition to allegedly conduct a shooting spree,” Ryan said in a press release.
Schwarztrauber is a finance and accounting consultant who was “almost exclusively politically motivated” by hatred for the Democratic party and planned to get a sniper rifle, police told CBS Boston.
When Cambridge police got a warrant and searched his Cambridge home Sunday, no firearms were found. Schwarztrauber also does not have firearms identification card – but police said they found a box of rifle ammunition that requires a card for purchase, and at the gun show an employee told Wilmington officers that Schwarztrauber had bought more ammunition without a card. Police found three boxes of handgun rounds in his car.
Schwarztrauber is expected to be arraigned in Woburn District Court on the charges out of Wilmington.
In the Cambridge court, Judge Roanne Sragow ordered Schwarztrauber held on $25,000 cash bail and to be released only to a GPS monitoring device; to remain in Massachusetts, drink no alcohol and comply with alcohol monitoring, and to take no drugs without a prescription; and not to possess any weapons or ammunition or go to gun shows or gun stores where firearms are sold. He also must stay away from and have no contact with the witness. He is scheduled to return to court April 2.
“The charges he faces really don’t reflect the dangerousness of this situation,” Ryan told CBS Boston.
It was just Oct. 23 when Cambridge resident Mathew Devine, 39, was arrested with 28 illegal firearms, as well as gun parts, silencers, ammunition, bulletproof vests, milling machines and other tools recovered after a search warrant was executed. Police said the collection of weaponry could have been “his hobby” at a press conference, as there was no history of violence, criminal record or mental instability that officers had found, and “he was not of concern to us” before the weaponry investigation, a deputy superintendent said.
Still, Devine had no license to carry a weapon, and the sheer number of weapons and equipment being delivered to his home – including the milling kit, which creates untraceable weapons with no serial numbers – was enough to draw attention.
The man who sold Schwarztrauber the ammunition at the gun show was also charged – with selling ammunition without complying with firearms card requirements.