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County sheriff departments, ATF confiscate stolen guns and ammunition

A combined effort between the St. Croix County and Pierce County Sheriff's departments and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms and Explosives (ATF) in April resulted in removing a number stolen guns and ammunition from St. Croix County.

Investigator Cary Rose said Thursday a total of 34 guns including semi-automatic AK-47 rifles and 15 handguns and 800 to 900 rounds of ammunition were recovered in the county through the help of confidential informants.

Simultaneous search warrants were conducted on homes in Houlton and east of River Falls at about 7 a.m. April 12. One person was arrested during the procedures, Donald J. Frazier, 43, Houlton, for possession of methamphetamine, THC and drug paraphernalia. The charges were dismissed April 19.

Duane Cernohous, the listed owner of the River Falls property, was not arrested in the search warrant incident according to the sheriff's department

Rose said the guns were stolen from a storage shed in Pope County, Minn., west of St. Cloud where two collectors had accumulated over 100 firearms.

"One of the guns recovered was an antique Revolutionary War muzzleloader that belonged to one of the collectors relatives," said Rose.

Rose said the investigation revealed the guns were stolen to re-sell for drug money.

"We thought our most important job was to locate the guns in the county and remove them. They could have ended up anywhere," Rose said.

The investigator said he accompanied ATF officers in recovering some of the guns in central Minnesota gravel pit where ammunition was also strewn around.