Kandiyohi County Judge David Mennis on Wednesday lowered the bail for drug and firearm suspect Chad Monson of Willmar. Monson was arrested January 30th after the city and county SWAT teams raided his home and found drugs and weapons. A total of five people were arrested.
At Monson’s arraignment February 1st, Judge Stephanie Beckman set bail, with conditions, at $250,000, but at Monson’s Rule 8 Hearing Wednesay Judge Mennis lowered it to $50,000, and an order for release was issued.
Monson, 46, must stay drug and alcohol free, stay away from firearms, and must be fitted with an electronic monitoring device. In court, Monson’s attorney Daniel Mohs said he believed his client was the victim of trumped-up charges after he said an un-named person told law enforcement Monson had drugs and weapons at his home on the south side of Willmar, and that Monson had threatened to use explosives on the homes of a judge and some attorneys.
While it’s true there were drugs and weapons at his home, Mohs says Monson never threatened anyone and hasn’t been charged with doing so. Mohs said Monson had many firearms after collecting them for many years and some, like a grenade launcher, are antiques, and others, such as a sub-machine gun, were in pieces. He said if Monson had not been previously convicted of a drug offense, it would have been legal for Monson to possess them, and Monson also has a permit to carry.
Mohs said Monson wants to get out of jail to deal with the bankrupcy proceedings of his business, Chad Monson Excavating, an auction of his property, and to deal with child custody issues. Mohs said when Monson’s family law attorney heard of the new charges against him, she resigned.
Monson next week will also be making an appearance in Renville County on a probation violation for a previous drug conviction. Mohs said Monson is a lifelong resident of Willmar and his parents were in the courtroom for his appearance Wednesday. Mohs said Monson is an admitted drug addict but has never been charged with a violent crime, and he said even if he were convicted of the 8 new charges against him, the most prison time he might serve would be about 17 months.
Monson’s next appearance in Kandiyohi County District Court is a pre-trial hearing set for April 11th.
(JP Cola, KWLM)