Willmar man pleads guilty to having arsenal of machine guns, pipe bombs

He allegedly told people he intended to target a judge and a prosecutor.
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Chad Monson

A Willmar man has pleaded guilty after investigators unearthed a hoard of machine guns, pipe bombs, silencers and other weaponry.

Chad Monson, 46, entered his plea at U.S. District Court on Thursday, admitting to illegal weapons charges ahead of sentencing at a later date.

It follows a search of Monson's home on Jan. 30 that turned up 16 guns, a large amount of ammunition, and evidence of personal use of illegal drugs.

A second search, month later, saw agents descend on a commercial utility building near Monson's home, where they found 10 machine guns, two of which had serial numbers removed, and all of which had been converted to fire automatically.

They also found three pipe bombs and three unregistered silencers.

A previous criminal complaint against Monson said he'd allegedly located the home of a judge, a prosector and another attorney and intended to plant the explosive near their properties.

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Monson must forfeit the machine guns, bombs and silencers as part of the plea deal with prosecutors.

The case was investigated by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, as well as the CEE-VI Gang and Drug Task Force, with the aid of the Kandiyohi County Attorney's Office.

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