Owatonna Man pleads guilty to possessing unregistered firearm

(ABC 6 News) – An Owatonna man pleaded guilty today to possession of an unregistered firearm, announced Acting United States Attorney W. Anders Folk.

According to court documents, the Olmsted County Sheriff’s Office received information that Dayton Charles Sauke, 22, was selling narcotics and manufacturing and dealing firearms without a license. Law enforcement agents monitored Sauke’s Snapchat account where he made numerous posts consistent with manufacturing and dealing firearms without a license. Sauke also 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. During the meeting, Sauke had a short-barreled shotgun with him and showed it to the undercover agents. The short-barreled shotgun was later recovered by law enforcement officials and examined by an ATF expert, who determined it was an operable 12-gauge shotgun with a barrel length of approximately 11 inches and a total overall length of 18 inches. 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.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Justin A. Wesley is prosecuting the case.