Avengers Motorcycle Club member Frank (Dr. Frankenstein) Bartels was charged with the first-degree murder of his wife this past week in a Genesee County, Michigan state court. Thirty-eight-year old Shane Bartels was suffocated to death on January 13, 2012. Facing the prospect of life in prison if convicted, he pled not guilty.

Frank Bartels, 51, is a member of the Flint, Michigan chapter of the Avengers MC and is currently behind bars on a federal weapons conviction. He was home at the time of his wife’s death and called 911, claiming it was a suicide and presenting responding police and medical personnel a hand-written note of hers he said he had found in his basement.

Upon a search of the residence, Flint’s Dr. Frankenstein was arrested for illegal firearm possession when authorities discovered a stolen pistol, two shotguns and a rifle without accompanying permits. Having a fellow Avenger named Raymond (Superman) Scarbrough falsify an affidavit claiming ownership of the guns at first, he eventually copped a plea and got slapped with a four-year sentence. His only previous run-in with the legal system was an assault conviction from 1980.

With less than six months to serve on his weapons conviction, Bartels is being held without bail in his murder case in the Genesee County Jail. Scarbrough, 43, was sentenced to three and a half years in prison for selling a Tec-9 pistol to an undercover cop in December 2013. He walked free a little more than a year ago.

Flint is a factory town located about an hour’s drive north of Detroit. The Avengers are a mid-level biker gang based in the Midwest – the club was founded in Michigan by Ronald (Big Ron) Swalwell in 1967. The Flint chapter has been the focus of intense attention from law enforcement over the couple years or so. Back in the winter of 2015, four Flint Avengers were arrested for leading a violent raid of a perceive rival’s clubhouse. Then, in the spring of 2016, Flint Avengers member Donald (Spiderman) Huntley was busted for running a large home invasion ring. Huntley got arrested fleeing the scene of a burglary on his motorcycle in June 2015 and has repeatedly rebuffed attempts by the government to get him to turn over on Bartels, per sources.

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