A 22-year-old man in federal custody for alleged unlicensed homemade firearm trafficking and death threats against law enforcement has been charged, the office of the U.S. Attorney Office for the District of Minnesota announced Tuesday.
The suspect, Dayton Charles Sauke, an Owatonna, Minnesota native, is charged with one count of ‘possession of an unregistered firearm,’ in the federal complaint made against him, a Department Of Justice (DOJ) press release reported.
After the Olmsted County Sheriff’s Office learned on Jul. 30, 2020, that the suspect was dealing in narcotics and producing and selling unlicensed firearms, law enforcement agents began observing Sauke’s Snapchat account starting Dec. 6, 2020. (RELATED: Courtney Love Says Doing Crack Was One Of Her Life’s ‘Greatest Shames’)
Dayton Charles Sauke, 22, of Owatonna is in federal custody for allegedly trafficking homemade firearms and threatening to kill members of law enforcement ahead of protests at the State Capitol last weekend. https://t.co/lvnFU08Uzv— MN CRIME ???? (@MN_CRIME) January 19, 2021
The agents, when monitoring Sauke’s handle, found several posts pointing to unlicensed firearm manufacturing and dealing and drug use and trafficking, including a picture of a sawed-off shotgun.
While already under investigation for these two crimes, between Dec. 6, 2020, and Jan. 12, 2021, Sauke also made several posts about killing law enforcement and politicians days before protests against Joe Biden’s inauguration, according to the DOJ.
Two undercover Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF) agents then met with the suspect Friday posing as customers for one of Sauke’s privately-manufactured firearms.
During the meeting with the agents, Sauke showed them images of several purchasable weapons, mentioning that he had a “sawed-off shotgun” in his vehicle, the press release stated.
Furthermore, Sauke allegedly told agents that he had trafficked more than 100 Glocks in 2020, KSTP reported.
After purchasing a $1500 gun and two additional firearms for $900, the ATF agents took Sauke into custody, the DOJ reported. The officials also found a short-barreled shotgun, similar to that shown in Sauke’s Snapchat posts, and a box of shotgun ammunition in the suspect’s vehicle.
Sauke “will make his initial appearance today before Magistrate Judge David T. Schultz in U.S. District Court,” the DOJ reported.
The case, prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Justin A. Wesley, results from an investigation conducted by the ATF, FBI, U.S. Postal Inspection Service, the Olmsted County Sheriff’s Office, the South Central Drug Investigations Unit, and the Cannon River Drug Task Force, according to the DOJ.