Pipestone man arrested after threatening law enforcement

Matthew Aaron Kellen, 38, of Pipestone, was arrested Wednesday, June 1 after allegedly threatening law enforcement and their families over a series of months.

According to the Buffalo Ridge Drug and Violent Crime Task Force (BRDTF), Kellen made “multiple threats of violence specifically directed towards law enforcement officers and their families. These threats of violence included specific details of shootings, sexual assaults, and arsons.”

According to the BRDTF, the task force executed a search warrant at Kellen’s Pipestone residence on June 1 with the assistance of the Pipestone County Sheriff’s Office, Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension (BCA) and H.E.A.T. (High Risk Entry and Arrest Team). Law enforcement blocked off the area around the residence in the area between state Highway 30 and Fifth Street SW and Second Avenue SW and Third Avenue SW and directed traffic around the area while executing the search warrant.

Kellen was apprehended without incident by the H.E.A.T. team and is being held in Pipestone County Jail. Bail was set at $200,000 with no conditions or $100,000 with the conditions that he neither use nor possess alcohol or drugs, submit to random testing, have no contact with the victims or their families, stay away from the victim’s residences, disclose the possession and the location of any weapons or firearms and turn over all firearms and weapons upon release from jail, keep his attorney informed of his address, make all future court appearances, take medications in the prescribed dosage and frequency, not use the BRDTF tip line and comply with mental health services.

The situation that led to Kellen’s arrest originated last fall during a prior interaction between he and law enforcement.

According to a criminal complaint filed June 3, officers with the Pipestone County Sheriff’s Office conducted a welfare check at Kellen’s residence on Oct. 6 after receiving a report that he intended to bring a gun to a doctor’s appointment that day and hurt himself or someone else if his back wasn’t fixed. When the officers spoke to Kellen, he indicated that he had a plan and “if they didn’t do anything to help his back pain, he was going to use a shotgun to shoot himself so he doesn’t have to deal with back pain anymore,” according to the complaint.

He then became upset, went inside the house and locked the door, leaving law enforcement and his significant other outside while his two minor children were still inside the home, according to the complaint. The officers requested additional law enforcement assistance and entered the home to secure Kellen.

According to the complaint, Kellen attempted to punch one of the officers in the face and other officers helped secure him. While they were in the home, officers observed controlled substances and subsequently applied for and were granted a search warrant, according to the complaint. Officers found and seized multiple firearms and controlled substances from the residence and Kellen was charged with storing meth paraphernalia in the presence of a child and fifth-degree possession of meth, both felonies, and fourth-degree assault of a law enforcement officer and negligent storage of firearms where a child could access them, both gross misdemeanors.

Between that incident in October and June 1, Kellen allegedly made numerous phone calls and sent numerous messages to the Pipestone County Sheriff’s Office referencing the incident and making many direct threats against the officers who were involved and are witnesses in the pending charges from that incident, according to the complaint. He also contacted one of the officers individually via a private Facebook account and via a tip line application.

One of the officers was granted a harassment restraining order against Kellen on March 2. After that, additional threatening messages continued to be received via the tip line that appeared to be from Kellen and threatened to kill the officers involved, potentially this summer; harm their families; and start their homes on fire. The threats continued via the tip line up until the morning of June 1 when, at 7:50 a.m., law enforcement executed a search warrant at Kellen’s home.

During a search of the residence, officers found cannabis vape cartridges, 3.5 grams of marijuana flower, paraphernalia, components of a shot gun, shotgun shells, a package of THC gummies, a cell phone opened up to the BRDTF tip line app, a glass marijuana pipe, a container of THC wax, multiple pills and capsules, crushed pills, a THC cookie package, a THC flower container, THC containers, a taser, and pre-roll containers with green plant material. Many of the items were labeled with Kellen’s name, according to the complaint.

After executing the search warrant, an officer logged onto the BRDTF tip line and replied back to the threatening messages that had been received and the replies appeared on the cell phone found at Kellen’s home. After Kellen was apprehended on June 1, an agent with the BCA asked Kellen about the tips and he admitted to sending them, according to the complaint.

Kellen is facing four counts of making terroristic threats, a felony punishable by up to five years imprisonment and a $10,000 fine; one count of fifth-degree possession of THC, a felony punishable by up to five years imprisonment and a $10,000 fine; and five counts of the lesser crime of violating a restraining order.