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Press Release

Willmar Man Pleads Guilty To Federal Charges Related To Illegal Cache Of Machine Guns, Pipe Bombs, Silencers

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of Minnesota

United States Attorney Erica H. MacDonald announced the guilty plea of CHAD LEE MONSON, 46, for illegally possessing machine guns, pipe bombs, and silencers. MONSON, who was indicted on June 5, 2018, entered his guilty plea today before Judge Joan N. Ericksen in U.S. District Court in Minneapolis, Minnesota. A sentencing hearing is yet to be scheduled.

U.S. Attorney MacDonald thanked the ATF and CEE-VI Gang and Drug Task Force investigators for their skilled work in the case and for making the Willmar community a safer place.

According to the defendant’s guilty plea and documents filed in court, on January 30, 2018, law enforcement officers executed a search warrant at MONSON’S residence in Willmar, Minnesota. Inside the residence, officers found personal use amounts of illegal narcotic drugs, as well as sixteen firearms, and a large quantity of ammunition. On February 21, 2018, law enforcement officers executed two additional search warrants at a commercial utility building near MONSON’S residence. There, officers found ten machine guns, two of them with obliterated serial numbers, three pipe bombs, and three unregistered silencers. MONSON admitted to owning the weapons and acknowledged that he knew that the machine guns had been illegally converted to be capable of firing in “fully automatic” mode. As part of his guilty plea, MONSON must forfeit to the United States 12 firearms, three pipe bombs, and three silencers.

This case is the result of an investigation conducted by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and the CEE-VI Gang and Drug Task Force, with assistance from the Kandiyohi County Attorney’s Office.

Assistant United States Attorney John Docherty is prosecuting the case.


Defendant Information:


Willmar, Minn.


  • Possession of a machine gun, 1 count
  • Possession of an unregistered destructive device (pipe bomb), 1 count
  • Possession of an unregistered silencer, 1 count





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United States Attorney’s Office, District of Minnesota: (612) 664-5600





Updated August 16, 2018

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