Felon arrested in possession of firearms, explosivesA rural Nickerson resident is arguing that Carlton County Sheriff’s deputies must have illegally searched a shack in which he was allegedly living before getting a proper search warrant in early February.
By: Jana Peterson, Pine Journal
A rural Nickerson resident is arguing that Carlton County Sheriff’s deputies must have illegally searched a shack in which he was allegedly living before getting a proper search warrant in early February.
Joshua Michael Stadin, 36, of Nickerson was arrested and charged Feb. 1 with five felonies and one misdemeanor after deputies searched the place where he was allegedly living – which Assistant County Attorney Michael Boese characterized as “squatter’s property” – and found a number of firearms as well as 7 ½ pounds of old explosive material (TNT). The charges include felon in possession of a firearm, felon in possession of a pistol/assault weapon – charged because he was previously convicted of second-degree burglary, a crime of violence – and possession of an explosive device, as well as two counts of receiving stolen property.
It was a stolen gun and a concerned citizen that sparked the investigation that led to his arrest.
Carlton County Lt. Rick Lake testified in a contested omnibus hearing March 12 that a concerned citizen – who was identified in the report and in court – contacted the Sheriff’s department after Stadin allegedly tried to sell him a gun the man believed was stolen. The witness reported the serial number of the rifle to the department, and research revealed the weapon was reported stolen in 2009.
According to the criminal complaint, officers were able to verify that two of the guns – a “DPMS” rifle and a Ruger M77 – were stolen, along with a generator reported stolen in Pine County. They also believe a vintage GTO vehicle at the residence was stolen; however, every serial number or marking symbol had been removed from the car. According to Dan Danielson, an investigator with the Sheriff’s department who also testified at the omnibus hearing, officers also found a “unique collection of World War II weapons” from a number of different military forces, but with an emphasis on Nazi memorabilia.
Lake testified that Stadin’s residence doesn’t have a legal address. It is located on a farm owned by relatives, and officers found the building thanks to GPS coordinates provided by the caller, they said. Stadin lists a different address as his legal residence, a home about two miles from the building deputies searched that Lake testified belongs to Stadin’s ex-girlfriend.
Defense attorney Sonia Sturdevant argued that officers did not have adequate probable cause for the search warrant granted by a Sixth District Court judge for several reasons.
“The search was conducted on buildings not visible from the road and property not in Mr. Stadin’s name,” Sturdevant wrote in a memorandum in support of a motion to suppress evidence from search and dismiss for lack of probable cause. “Mr. Stadin is suspicious how the police could have received the information needed without first entering the property.”
In the same memorandum, Sturdevant also stated that Stadin believed he was purchasing guns legally when the transaction occurred in 2009, and alleged that the information about the guns was more than two years old, or “stale.”
After hearing arguments from both sides, Judge Robert Macaulay took the case under advisement. As the Pine Journal went to press, he had not yet ruled whether the case would proceed or not. Stadin remains in custody at the Carlton County Law Enforcement Center.