Madison, Minn., man receives stayed prison sentence for being in possession of stolen items

A Madison man has been ordered to serve four separate 45-day jail terms and to pay thousands in restitution after his conviction in connection with thefts in the Dawson area and drug possession.

Carl Lee Burns Jr..jpg

MADISON — A 15-month prison sentence was stayed for five years for a Madison man for being in possession of numerous items stolen from a storage unit in Dawson.

Carl Lee Burns Jr., 43, pleaded guilty in October to the felony of receiving stolen property. On the same day, he also pleaded guilty to a fourth-degree drug charge, also a felony, in a separate case.

He was sentenced in December in Lac qui Parle County District Court. The stayed prison sentence applies to the conviction on receiving stolen property. Other parts of the sentence are to be served concurrently for both convictions.

Burns was ordered to begin serving 45 days in jail at the time of his sentencing and received credit for 19 days already served. He was ordered to serve additional 45-day sentences beginning Feb. 1, 2021, April 1, 2021 and June 1, 2021.

He will also serve five years of supervised probation and was ordered to pay $4,050 in restitution and $650 in fines and court fees. His payments are to begin March 1 and be at least $250 a month.


Burns was charged in 2019 after searches found numerous items that had been reported stolen in the Dawson area. The items missing included tools, electronics and jewelry.

A number of items had been reported missing from a locked storage unit. The owners said their lock had been cut off the unit’s door, and another lock was in its place.

During one search, authorities also found 8 grams of methamphetamine.

In 42 years in the newspaper industry, Linda Vanderwerf has worked at several daily newspapers in Minnesota, including the Mesabi Daily News, now called the Mesabi Tribune in Virginia. Previously, she worked for the Las Cruces Sun-News in New Mexico and the Rapid City Journal in the Black Hills of South Dakota. She has been a reporter at the West Central Tribune for nearly 27 years.

Vanderwerf can be reached at email: or phone 320-214-4340
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