An Owatonna man, who posted on social media that he wanted to kill law enforcement at the Minnesota Capitol, is in federal custody after allegedly selling a firearm to an undercover federal agent.
Dayton Charles Sauke, 22, was taken into federal custody in a Faribault business parking lot on Friday and was charged Tuesday with possession of an unregistered firearm. His initial appearance is scheduled for later today before Magistrate Judge David T. Schultz in U.S. District Court.
According to the allegations in the criminal complaint, a special agent with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), was notified on July 30 by the Olmsted County Sheriff’s Office that a confidential informant had come forward with information that Sauke was selling narcotics and engaged in the manufacturing and dealing of firearms without a license. The ATF agent was provided screenshots of Sauke’s Snapchat account where he offered a manufactured firearm for sale.
On Dec. 6, an ATF special agent acting undercover sent Sauke a friend request on Snapchat using an undercover profile, which Sauke accepted, according to the report. The agent recorded several posts made by Sauke that were consistent with manufacturing and dealing firearms without a license, as well as using and dealing drugs.
On Dec. 26, Sauke posted pictures of what he represented to be a “sawn-off” shotgun. According to the criminal complaint, Sauke began making posts that were violent in nature on Jan. 5, including a post on Jan. 12 threatening to kill law enforcement at the Minnesota State Capitol the following weekend. Evidence shows Sauke made a post the same day calling for the murder of all politicians.
On Jan. 15, two undercover ATF agents met with Sauke in the parking lot of a business in Faribault and purchased from him a privately made firearm for $1,500. Sauke discussed with the undercover agents the cost for manufacturing additional firearms and claimed to have sold 120 “glocks” in 2020.
The undercover agents agreed to purchase two additional firearms from Sauke and paid him $900 toward the purchases, according to the criminal complaint.
Sauke was taken into custody once the controlled purchase was completed. His vehicle was towed by the Faribault Police Department and a federal search warrant recovered a short barreled shotgun on the rear floorboard.
Federal law requires shotguns with reduced barrels and overall lengths (often referred to as “sawed-off” or “short-barreled” shotguns) to be registered with the National Firearms Registration and Transfer Record. The shotgun was not registered to Sauke.
Earlier this month, law enforcement obtained paperwork from Sauke’s probation officer, which included forms filled out by Sauke during December. According to court documents, the paperwork shows Sauke stating he has “a real urge to kill” and that he is “a very angry person consumed by hate.” Sauke also documented on the forms the following statements:
• “I carry guns where I go and wish that somebody ANYBODY would find the courage to play games with me.”
• “It’s a Christmas miracle that I haven’t put anyone in the dirt yet.”
• “Cops can feel my wrath too … It’s not a matter of if it’s a matter of when.”
In Sauke’s public-facing Instagram profile, he made several posts over the last year of him holding and shooting firearms, including one video posted a week ago of himself shooting a short barreled shotgun. Sauke also has several posts that denounce law enforcement.
Sauke’s criminal record shows a 2019 conviction of a misdemeanor for illegally transporting a firearm in a motor vehicle. According to court records, Sauke was sleeping in a driver’s seat of a running parked vehicle when a McLeod County Sheriff’s deputy approached him and noticed a prescription medication bottle in his possession. Sauke admitted he did not have a prescription for the medication. Upon searching his vehicle, the deputy located a loaded shotgun, a vape containing THC liquid, two vape components containing THC and two counterfeit $100 bills. Sauke pleaded guilty to fifth-degree drug possession – a gross misdemeanor – and was sentenced to a statutory stay of adjudication. He also pleaded guilty for the firearm offense, for which he is currently under supervision for.
At the time of the 2019 charges, Sauke was on probation for carrying a firearm in public. The 2017 case occurred in Austin, where Sauke was living at the time, when someone reported to police a man walking in the neighborhood with a gun sticking out of his backpack. When officers found Sauke, he was in possession of a 12-guage pump-action shotgun that was disassembled into two parts “which could be easily reassembled,” court documents say. The magazine contained five rounds of ammunition.
The 2021 case is the result of an investigation conducted by the ATF, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, the Olmsted County Sheriff’s Office, the South Central Drug Investigations Unit and the Cannon River Drug Task Force.