A 22-year-old Owatonna man who allegedly threatened to kill police officers and politicians on Snapchat has been arrested.
Dayton Charles Sauke was arrested Jan. 15 and is charged in federal court with possessing an unregistered firearm, the U.S. Attorney's Office announced on Tuesday. He's expected to make his first court appearance on Tuesday.
According to the federal criminal complaint, the Olmsted County Sheriff's Office learned on July 30, 2020, that Sauke was selling narcotics, and manufacturing and dealing guns without a license.
Police on Dec. 6, 2020, started monitoring Sauke's Snapchat account, on which he made "numerous posts consistent with manufacturing and dealing firearms without a license" and using and dealing drugs.
From Dec. 6, 2020, through Jan. 12 of this year, Sauke posted photos on Snapchat of a short-barreled shotgun and made threatening posts about killing police and politicians. In one post he said, "We're all from the same cloth. Don't be showing out for any politicians we gotta murder every single one of them."
In a Jan. 12 post, he wrote "Extremist violence at the MN Capitol this weekend? Even if I only kill one cop that's more cops than Antif cop lovers have ever killed," charges state.
There were concerns protests could turn violent at the Minnesota Capitol the weekend of Jan. 15, prompting an increased law enforcement presence (the weekend was peaceful).
Here are some of the posts he made, according to the charges against him:
Sauke, who had previously been convicted of illegally carrying firearms and on a drug charge, had written on forms to his probation officer that he had a "real urge to kill" and that “Cops can feel my wrath too. I’ve been tazed, stabbed and numbed numerous times that shit doesn’t phase me. It's not a matter of if it’s a matter of when," according to charges.
On Jan. 15, two undercover federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosive (ATF) agents met with Sauke. They bought a gun for $1,500 from him and discussed the cost of manufacturing more guns, the complaint said.
Sauke showed the ATF agents photos of guns they could buy and said he had a "sawed-off shotgun" in his car. The ATF agents said they'd pay him $900 toward the purchase of two other guns.
Sauke was arrested after the purchase was complete, charges state. In Sauke's vehicle, investigators found the short-barreled shotgun similar to the one seen in Sauke's Snapchat posts, and a box of ammunition.
The gun was not registered to Sauke, as is required by federal law.