NORTH MANKATO — Investigators are reporting a convicted felon, who was arrested while his North Mankato house was searched for guns and drugs Sunday, was concerned about a temporary loss of government order and wanted the guns to defend his family and neighborhood.
A North Mankato police officer contacted an agent with the Minnesota River Valley Drug Task Force on Jan. 10 to pass on a report about a man with numerous guns who was using and selling drugs.
The officer had received an anonymous tip saying 29-year-old Michael Donald Caya was “using methamphetamine and acted ‘crazy,’” according to a criminal complaint filed in Nicollet County District Court Wednesday. The person also told the officer he or she was concerned about Caya’s wife, Cherith, and two young children.
Drug task force agents had run across Caya’s name before during a drug and gun investigation, the complaint said. They had searched a residence at the Eagle Lake Mobile Home Park in September after receiving a tip that methamphetamine and several guns without serial numbers were there. Several people were arrested for methamphetamine possession, but no guns were found.
One of the people arrested later told investigators that Caya had left the residence with a box of guns before investigators had arrived. That person also told a task force agent that Caya traded guns for drugs and cash, and that he had purchased methamphetamine and marijuana from Caya.
A task force agent met garbage collectors in Caya’s North Ridge neighborhood the morning of Jan. 18, the complaint said. They went to the front of Caya’s split level house on the Robin Court cul-de-sac and removed six bags of garbage from a container at the end of the driveway. Straws with white residue, which were found in the bags and allegedly tested positive for methamphetamine, were used to justify Sunday’s search.