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One of 15 most wanted fugitives captured in Montana by US Marshals Service

Posted at 9:14 PM, Jul 05, 2019
and last updated 2019-07-05 23:17:13-04

BILLINGS – On Wednesday, the U.S. Marshals Service in Montana arrested one of the 15 most wanted fugitives by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) Kansas City Field Division.

The arrest was made on an outstanding warrant out of the Northern District of Iowa for felon in possession of a firearm.

Michael Duane Strain, 62 — a U.S. citizen who has a criminal history of obstruction, contempt of court, trespassing, fleeing a peace officer in a motor vehicle, possession of a short-barreled shotgun, and possession of explosive devices — was taken into custody around 6 p.m. without incident at a remote ranch approximately two hours from Billings.

ATF contacted U.S. marshals on June 26 with information that Strain was possibly in the area.

“As soon as the information was received, it was transferred to our team on the ground,” said U.S. Marshal for Montana Rod Ostermiller. “We were able to act on that information immediately and begin working to get this dangerous fugitive into custody. This is a great example of the close working relationship we have with the ATF.”

After the arrest, ATF was notified and put in touch with the ranch owner. They will conduct a search of the property.

Strain was transported to Big Horn County jail for his initial appearance and arraignment.

“This case is a perfect example of our outstanding partnership with the United States Marshals Service. We appreciate their commitment to removing dangerous fugitives such as Michael Strain from our communities, and we’ll continue to work together to protect the public,” said Marino Vidoli, special agent in charge of the ATF’s Kansas City Field Division.

ATF agents in the Northern District of Iowa indicted Strain on Oct. 19, 2011, on charges of possession of a firearm as a felon. They subsequently turned apprehension authority over to the USMS.

The last known address for Strain in October 2011 was in Elma, Iowa. Information from late 2011 through 2012 was developed by U.S. marshals placing Strain in southeast Minnesota, and in 2014, information was developed indicating Strain had likely moved west and was possibly in Wyoming or Utah, likely residing on a ranch.

In June 2018, the U.S. Marshals Service in the Northern District of Iowa distributed a press release highlighting the mobile TIPS app and highlighted Strain as a fugitive being sought by the agency.