ROCHESTER, Minn. — A U.S. District Court Judge ruled Thursday morning, Jan. 21, there was no set of restrictions he could impose that would reasonably ensure public safety if an Owatonna, Minn., man were to be released from jail.
Judge David Schultz granted the prosecutor's request to detain 22-year-old Dayton Sauke on a pretrial basis. He is being held in the Sherburne County Jail.
Sauke was arrested on Jan. 15 after he allegedly told undercover Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives agents that he had a sawed-off shotgun in his vehicle as he sold them firearms.
Sauke, who was on probation at the time of his arrest for carrying a firearm in public, is charged with a single count of possession of an unregistered firearm.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Justin A. Wesley told the court he anticipated additional charges such as manufacturing firearms would filed in the case.
In arguing for continued detention, Wesley raised concerns about Sauke's mental health as well as statements Sauke reportedly made to his probation officer about his anger and the use of drugs to quell it.
Arguing for Sauke's release, attorney Andrew Mohring said his client has extensive family and community ties and that he had previously successfully completed a suspended sentence. Being in the community would also make getting "appropriate and thorough" treatment for undiagnosed and untreated mental health issues much more achievable, Mohring said.
Citing Sauke's mental health and unclear information about the status of the 22-year-old's passport, Schultz granted the prosecutor's request. He also urged Sauke to undergo a psychiatric or mental health evaluation.
Sauke's arrest came the day before a weekend of protests planned at the Capitol building in St. Paul, which had raised concerns about the potential for violence. The rally drew a large security force as well as media but few protesters.
In Snapchats included in the criminal complaint, Sauke wrote messages threatening law enforcement and that he would supply convicted felons, who are ineligible to possess firearms, with weapons.
On Jan. 12, Sauke snapped a picture of himself smoking in a vehicle with the caption "Extremist violence at the MN capitol this weekend? Even if I only kill 1 cop thats more cops than antifa cop lovers have ever killed." In a Jan. 8 post, Sauke is pictured smoking with the caption "Whats my political stance? Copkilling"
In court Thursday morning, Mohring appeared to address the remarks calling them "extremely ugly statements about police and law enforcement," but said there was no evidence that Sauke had taken steps to act on them.
"Those are statements with no evidence of actual conduct attached to them," Mohring said. "Insurrection and riots -- there is nothing about this man to connect him with any of that in any kind of active or participatory way."