‘Ghost Guns’ Trafficking Ring Taken Down in Bucks County

GunsNicholas Michael Pentz and Brandon Monachelli (Submitted Images)

DOYLESTOWN, PA — The Bucks County Detectives Drug Strike Force and Bristol Township Police Department took down a gun and drug ring they say supplied methamphetamine and firearms, including untraceable “ghost guns” and fully automatic weapons, in the Lower Bucks County and Northern Philadelphia areas, announced the Bucks County District Attorney’s Office.

Following a yearlong investigation into the Pentz Drug and Gun Distribution Organization that included the purchase of guns and methamphetamine through confidential informants, Bucks County Detectives served three warrants on Tuesday and Wednesday, leading to the arrests of two men, both convicted felons, and the recovery of suspected drugs, money and several firearms.

A criminal complaint filed on Wednesday June 8, 2022, alleges the Pentz Drug and Gun Distribution Organization has been in operation in Bucks County since 2021 as a source supplier of methamphetamine, assault style rifles, handguns, and other firearms. The organization offered direct access to multiple types of firearms to include fully automatic firearms as well as parts to modify weapons to make them more dangerous.

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“I can’t think of a deadlier combination than criminals motivated by illegal guns, meth and money,” District Attorney Matt Weintraub said. “Thanks to the incredible work of our Drug Strike Force, and its law enforcement partners, we’ve taken some of each off our streets with this bust and seizure. Bucks County is much safer for it. These kinds of investigations, arrests and seizures will continue to be a priority for us.”

Police charged Nicholas Michael Pentz, 29, of Macintosh Road, Bristol Township and Brandon Monachelli, 24, of Militia Court, Bensalem, with the following crimes:

  • Corrupt organizations
  • Prohibited possession of a firearm
  • Alter/obliterate mark of identification
  • Possession of a firearm with an altered manufacturer number
  • Criminal use of a communication facility
  • Possession with intent to deliver a controlled substance
  • Firearms not to be carried without a license
  • Crime committed with a firearm
  • Criminal conspiracy
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Monachelli was arraigned on Wednesday by Magisterial District Judge Terrence Hughes and was committed to Bucks County Correctional Facility under $5 million bail, 10 percent. Pentz will be arraigned on those charges at a later time.

guns
Guns, gun parts and ammunition seized in search warrants in Bristol Township and Bensalem. Three of the six guns on the table are described as ghost guns and the parts could have been used to make more.

During a search of Pentz’s Macintosh Road home on Tuesday, detectives recovered suspected methamphetamine and drug sale paraphernalia as well as two firearms – a semi-automatic, assault-style rifle with a suppressor and a 9mm with a custom trigger, suppressor, and a switch converting it into a fully automatic firearm. Police described both weapons as ghost guns, untraceable firearms without serial numbers. Investigators also recovered ammunition, partial guns and parts, and $10,500 in cash from Pentz’ home.

Pentz was also charged with prohibited possession of a firearm, possession of a controlled substance and possession of drug paraphernalia following the execution of the warrant. On that case, a district judge set bail at $75,000, 10 percent.

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Monachelli was taken into custody on Wednesday, following a search of his residence in Bensalem. There, police recovered two firearms, along with gun parts, ammunition and methamphetamine paraphernalia.

Police believe the investigation may result in further arrests.

This case was investigated by the Bucks County Detectives Drug Strike Force and the Bristol Township Police Department, with the assistance of the Bensalem Township Police Department, Bucks County South SWAT Team, Philadelphia Police Department, Pennsylvania State Police, Homeland Security Investigations and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.

Chief Deputy District Attorney Christopher Rees is assigned for prosecution.

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