Man who bragged about wanting to kill cops, burned ‘thin blue line’ flags pleads guilty to weapons charge


MINNEAPOLIS, MN – A 22-year-old man entered a guilty plea related to a federal firearms offense earlier in August, which the now-convicted felon had on previous occasions bragged about wanting to kill law enforcement officers.

Back on January 15th, Dayton Sauke was taken into federal custody and charged with possession of an unregistered firearm. Sauke’s arrest came after law enforcement were first notified back in July of 2020 that he may have been engaged in the sale of narcotics and also manufacturing and dealing firearms without a license.

Come December of 2020, federal law enforcement began to monitor Sauke’s Snapchat account, where investigators found numerous posts made by him that bore evidence of him manufacturing and selling firearms without a license – as well as selling drugs.

According to the Justice Department’s January press release regarding Sauke’s arrest, the following was also noted when observing his social media activity:

“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.”

A report from the Star Tribune noted that much of Sauke’s social media posts aligned with sentiments associated with the Boogaloo Bois, where he had one photo captioned with “Sic Semper Tyrannis”, made frequent references to wanting to kill police officers, and even shared a photo of him burning a thin blue line flag and captioning the photo with “police lives don’t matter”.

One of the more concerning posts shared by Sauke referenced him wanting to kill police officers ta a specific pro-Trump rally that was to be held in Minnesota, where he wrote that “if its only me out here killing police” then the “left” will try to paint him as a racist.

On January 15th, two undercover ATF agents met with Sauke and purchased a privately made firearm for $1,500. During that meeting with the undercover agents, Sauke also discussed the costs associated with manufacturing additional guns if they wanted to purchase them.


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Dayton Sauke (@dayton_sauke98)

Sauke then continued to show the agents additional photos of firearms they could potentially by and proclaimed to have a sawed off shotgun in his vehicle. The undercover agents then agreed to purchase two additional firearms and handed over an extra $900 toward those purchases.

Apparently, Sauke had bragged to the undercover agents about how he’d sold roughly 120 firearms over the past year.

Once the transactions were wrapped up, Sauke was taken into custody and agents also recovered the sawed-off shotgun from his vehicle.

Flash forward to August 25th, and Sauke pleaded guilty to possession of an unregistered firearm. A sentencing date for Sauke has not yet been announced by authorities. 

Do you want to join our private family of first responders and supporters?  Get unprecedented access to some of the most powerful stories that the media refuses to show you.  Proceeds get reinvested into having active, retired and wounded officers, their families and supporters tell more of these stories.  Click to check it out.

LET Unity

In other recently reported guilty pleas, we at Law Enforcement Today reported on a woman who pleaded guilty to drowning her puppy after claiming she was worried about the vet bills associated with caring for the animal. 

Here’s that previous report. 


PASSAIC COUNTY, NJ – According to reports, a 49-year-old woman in New Jersey pleaded guilty to animal cruelty earlier in August related to an April 2019 drowning of a golden retriever that she killed due to concerns over the costs of veterinary care for the dog.

On August 12th, 49-year-old Tonya Fea pleaded guilty to animal cruelty for the drowning of her 10-week-old golden retriever.

According to a press release from the Passaic County Prosecutor’s Office, Fea admitted to submerging her puppy in a pond located in West Milford.  Reports indicate she had caged the puppy and weighed the cage down in the water using a glass vase.

During the August 12th court appearance where Fea’s plea was entered, she proclaimed to have “panicked” over concerns of looming vet bills required to care for the puppy that was experiencing medical issues and opted to “dispose of” her sick puppy in the lake.

Apparently, Fea had a vet appointment scheduled the morning of the drowning of her dog, as the puppy had been vomiting and experiencing diarrhea.

Fea’s attorney during the proceeding asked her the following regarding why she chose to drown her golden retriever:

“You knew the ground was frozen so burying it was very difficult, so you decided to submerge [the puppy] in the pond?”

Fea’s answered her attorney, “Yes.”

Back when Fea was first arrested for the crime, she proclaimed that when she submerged the puppy in the water, she believed the puppy was already deceased. However, a subsequent necropsy performed on the golden retriever found that the puppy was indeed still alive when drowned by Fea.

Nonprofit group The Last Resort Rescue had found the puppy the day it was drowned in the lake, affording the following description at the time:

“The puppy was dead and ice cold, soaked inside the crate, lakebed vegetation hanging on the crate, with a lead crystal ice bucket inside the crate ( notice price tag) and wee wee pads stuck to the side of her head with a small amount of blood on them.”

The press release from the prosecutor’s office noted that her plea agreement calls for Fae to serve 6 months in jail followed by probation and counseling:

“Pursuant to the terms of the plea agreement, the State has recommended that Ms. Fea be placed on probation for a period of 5 years with the condition that she serve 180 days in the Passaic County Jail.

Under the terms of the plea, Ms. Fea will also be required to continue counseling, perform 100 days of community service, and refrain from owning dogs in the future.”

Fea’s sentencing date is scheduled for October 5th.

Do you want to join our private family of first responders and supporters?  Get unprecedented access to some of the most powerful stories that the media refuses to show you.  Proceeds get reinvested into having active, retired and wounded officers, their families and supporters tell more of these stories.  Click to check it out.

LET Unity

Officials: 15-year-old pleads guilty for his involvement in murder of undercover detective

(Originally published August 11th, 2021)

CLEVELAND, OH- Last September, Cleveland police Det. James Skernivitz was gunned down in cold-blood during a botched robbery, along with his police informant. This week, the 15-year-old arrested in connection with the killing pleaded guilty to his role in the shooting.

The 15-year-old, not identified because of his age, pleaded guilty to two counts of aggravated murder in the deaths of Skernivitz, a married father of three, and his informant, Scott Dingess who were killed last Sept. 3.

Skernivitz and Dingess were sitting in an unmarked car preparing for a drug sting when a group of youths approached them, including the 15-year-old. One of the youths approached them and fired shots into the vehicle, unprovoked and killed the two men, Fox 8 in Cleveland reported.

The suspect did not fire any shots, according to prosecutors. He is to be sentenced on Aug. 31.

Prosecutors said the youth must remain in the state’s youth services facility until he turns 21 due to sentencing enhancements.

Two others are charged in the case, a criminal complaint read. The Cuyahoga County Court of Common Pleas Juvenile Court Division reported Kevin Robinson, 17, is charged with murder, aggravated murder, felonious assault and aggravated robbery in the case.

Another suspect, David McDaniel, 18, is charged with two counts of aggravated murder in their deaths. The charges state that McDaniel and two other suspects shot and killed the officer.

McDaniel is facing the death penalty in the case, prosecutors said.

The 15-year-old is the first person to plead guilty in the case, and prosecutors say he has cooperated with investigators in the case. The plea deal also stipulates that the teen will not face charges as an adult and has agreed to testify against his five other co-defendants in the case.

While McDaniel and Robinson face charges directly tied into the double-homicide, three others face charges of helping to cover up the crimes, including hiding the gun used in the shooting. All other suspects beside the 15-year-old have pleaded not guilty in the case. reported that Skernivitz’s widow, Kristen attended the hearing and at one point walked across the courtroom and gave tissues to the 15-year-old’s mother. Skernivitz declined to comment to media after the hearing.

Cleveland police, as well as the prosecutor’s office previously stated that the group was unaware that Skernivitz was a police officer, and that the shooting and attempted robbery were random.

The plea deal came on the same day as a hearing for Robinson to determine if he would face charges as an adult in the case.

The 15-year-old said on the day of the shooting, he, Robinson and other friends were playing basketball, smoking dope and listening to music. At some point during the afternoon, McDaniel came along and joined the group playing basketball.

At some point, McDaniel and Robinson asked him to act as a lookout while they committed a robbery of a classmate looking to sell a gun to Robinson, who arranged the meeting via Instagram.

Robinson wanted the classmate’s Glock handgun, while McDaniel would in exchange get Robinson’s mother’s Beretta. If they were able to successfully steal the Glock, Robinson would give McDaniel the Beretta.

The three youths grabbed guns and went to a discount store on West 65th Street in the city to meet with the classmate. They spotted a black SUV which drove through the lot and went to the back of the store.

Thinking the SUV contained the individual they were seeking to rob, they walked up to within a few feet, saw Skernivitz and Dingess sitting inside with cash out on their laps, the 15-year-old said.

According to Ass’t Cuyahoga County Prosecutor Mohmaud Awadallah, the two men in the SUV were preparing for a drug sting and were discussing the operation. The detective gave Dingess marked bills and fitted him with a wire that ultimately captured audio of the shooting. As Dingess mad calls to a nearby drug dealer, the three gunmen approached the SUV.

The youth testified McDaniel saw $100 bills inside the SUV.

“McDaniel wanted the money and said: ‘Maybe we should rob this person because they’re right there,’” the teen said. “And in that split-second, McDaniel started firing into the car.”

Skernivitz attempted to drive away, however got stuck in a ditch, the teen testified. McDaniel and Robinson continued firing shots as the officer drove through the ditch, across the street and into a fence at a school. Awadallah said 17 shots were fired from the two guns during the botched robbery attempt.

The three ran from the area, changed clothes and walked back to Robinson’s home where they argued about the shooting while watching news coverage of the shooting, the teen testified. It wasn’t until that moment that they realized the SUV was occupied by a police officer, Skernivitz, who died.

The youth went through a series of videos with prosecutors, including what was described as a “grainy” video taken from the top of a nearby building which captured the shooting on camera.

The guns were left at Robinson’s home, where the three others charged in the case—Brittany Cremeans, 24; Antonio Darby, 27; and Rodney Cremeans, 21—helped them hide evidence, including the firearms used in the murders, police and prosecutors said.

The trio broke down the guns and scattered the parts, prosecutors said. Police investigators found two parts of Robinson’s gun hidden in a sewer and garbage can, prosecutors said. Bullets and bullet casings found at the scene were matched to the gun, prosecutors said.

The 15-year-old also testified that Robinson had sent him a letter while the two were in juvenile lockup and asked him to tell investigators they were threatened by McDaniel into helping with the botched armed robbery.

The teen was scheduled to continue testimony Tuesday beginning with cross-examination by Robinson’s attorney Jonathan McDonald. McDonald noted during his opening statement he only wanted Judge Alison Floyd to consider the evidence and weigh the credibility of each witness, which is kind of what judges do.

Detective Skernivitz worked undercover for the Cleveland PD’s gang unit, and was assigned to the federal task force named Operation Legend only days before his death. He was a 22-year veteran of the department and as noted left a wife and three children. He was the first Cleveland police officer shot and killed in the line of duty since 2008, when Derek Owens was killed.

Law Enforcement Today will follow this up as more information comes forth.

Want to make sure you never miss a story from Law Enforcement Today?  With so much “stuff” happening in the world on social media, it’s easy for things to get lost.  

Make sure you click “following” and then click “see first” so you don’t miss a thing!  (See image below.)  Thanks for being a part of the LET family!
Facebook Follow First
Submit a Correction
Related Posts