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Iowa fugitive who evaded feds for years arrested on Montana ranch
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Iowa fugitive who evaded feds for years arrested on Montana ranch


Once on the most-wanted list of a federal agency, a fugitive who has evaded officials since 2011 has been arrested on a ranch outside of Billings.

Michael Duane Strain, 62, was arrested Wednesday on a ranch roughly two hours away from Billings, after evading law enforcement for nearly eight years.

He was one of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives' 15 most wanted fugitives, according to a press release from U.S. Marshal for Montana Rod Ostermiller. 

Strain was wanted out of Iowa on two charges of felon in possession of a firearm that had been filed there in U.S. District Court back in 2011.

Until Friday, Strain had not appeared in court on the charges. A federal judge in Iowa issued an arrest warrant for him in October 2011. Strain made his initial appearance in U.S. District Court in Billings on Friday afternoon.

He was taken into custody without issue, according to Ostermiller. Strain is accused of illegal firearm possession in Iowa in 2010 and 2011. He is charged with having a cache of firearms, including a Remington 870 firearm without a barrel and with the stock cut off, and various shotguns and pistols.

The last known address for Strain in October 2011 was in Elma, Iowa, according to Ostermiller.

Strain was believed to be in southeast Minnesota from late 2011 through 2012, the press release states. In 2014, Strain was believed to have moved to a ranch in the West, possibly in Wyoming or Utah.


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