United States Attorney Erica H. MacDonald today announced a federal criminal complaint against DAYTON CHARLES SAUKE, 22, charging him with possessing an unregistered firearm. SAUKE was taken into federal custody on January 15, 2021, and will make his initial appearance today before Magistrate Judge David T. Schultz in U.S. District Court.
According to the allegations in the criminal complaint and law enforcement affidavit, on July 30, 2020, the Olmsted County Sheriff’s Office received information that SAUKE was selling narcotics and manufacturing and dealing firearms without a license. Beginning on December 6, 2020, law enforcement agents monitored SAUKE’s Snapchat account. SAUKE made numerous posts consistent with manufacturing and dealing firearms without a license, as well as using and dealing drugs. Between December 6, 2020, and January 12, 2021, SAUKE posted pictures of a short-barreled shotgun and made several threatening posts about killing law enforcement and politicians. On January 15, 2021, two undercover agents from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) met with SAUKE and purchased from him a privately made firearm for $1,500. SAUKE discussed with the undercover agents the cost for manufacturing additional firearms. During the conversation, SAUKE showed the undercover agents photos of firearms they could purchase and said he had a “sawed-off shotgun” in his car. The undercover agents agreed to purchase two additional firearms from SAUKE and paid him $900 toward the purchases. Once the purchase was complete, SAUKE was taken into custody. Agents recovered from SAUKE’s vehicle a short-barreled shotgun, similar to the gun shown in SAUKE’s Snapchat posts, and a box of shotgun ammunition. Federal law requires shotguns with reduced barrels and overall lengths (often referred to as “sawed-off” or “short-barreled” shotguns) to be registered in the National Firearms Registration and Transfer Record. The shotgun was not registered to SAUKE.
This case is the result of 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.
This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Justin A. Wesley.
The charges contained in the complaint are merely accusations, and the defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.
DAYTON CHARLES SAUKE, 22
- Possession of an unregistered firearm, 1 count
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United States Attorney’s Office, District of Minnesota: (612) 664-5600