Villa Park gunrunner sought as he escapes custody after attending his brother’s funeral

A Villa Park man who was sentenced to 10 years in prison for gunrunning is now accused of escaping custody by cutting off a GPS monitor.

He did it while on furlough attending his brother’s funeral Tuesday, according to DuPage County court records.

Bruce Berrier pleaded guilty in July to one count of gunrunning, and was sentenced Dec. 14.

He had not been transferred from the DuPage County jail to prison as of Monday, when he asked for permission to attend the funeral. Judge Michael Reidy granted the request, over the objection of prosecutors.

Berrier was allowed to attend the funeral service, the burial and a family luncheon, all starting at 8 a.m., and then return to jail by 2 p.m.

Berrier, 23, is now charged with felony criminal damage to government property and contempt of court. Court documents allege that he cut through the fiber optic strap of his monitor at 1:27 p.m. and threw the monitor on a parkway near Arlington Cemetery, 401 E. Lake St., Elmhurst.

A no-bond arrest warrant has been issued.

He was arrested in July 2021 on the gunrunning charge. Authorities alleged he sold multiple guns on four occasions to undercover police officers, from September through November 2020, in Roselle and Hanover Park.

Berrier also served time for a 2015 shooting.

DuPage County prosecutors said Berrier, then 16, was an “enforcer” responsible for “clearing out unwanted people” from a Villa Park townhouse complex when he shot and seriously injured two Addison men in November 2015. But Berrier’s attorney said his client was only protecting himself from a knife-wielding crowd when he fired several shots “into the ground” after a snowball was thrown at him.

Prosecutors agreed to let him plead guilty to one count of unauthorized discharge of a weapon, and after he told the judge in 2018 he didn’t want to lead a life that led him to prison and a Lombard Episcopal priest vouched for him, he was sentenced to five years, with more than two years already served in jail.