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ELMA – A former Iowa man who has been on the lam from federal weapons charges for years has been detained in Montana, according to the U.S. Marshals Service.

Marshals arrested Michael Duane Strain, 62, a one-time Elma resident who had been on the ATF’s top 15  most wanted list for the agency’s Kansas City Field Office, on July 3. He was wanted on a charge of felon in possession of a firearm out of U.S. District Court for Iowa’s Northern District.

On June 26, ATF agents contacted the Marshals after receiving information that placed Strain in the Montana.

“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 began working to get this dangerous fugitive into custody.”

Strain was detained around 6 p.m. on a remote ranch about two hours from Billings without incident. He was taken to the Big Horn County Jail pending extradition back to Iowa. A court date was scheduled for Friday in U.S. District Court for Montana in Billings.

Authorities said Strain is a sovereign citizen whose history includes trespassing, fleeing from police in a vehicle, possession of a short-barreled shotgun and possession of explosives in Minnesota.

A federal grand jury returned an indictment charging Strain with felon in possession of a firearm in October 2011 in connection with a Howard County case, and his last known address at the time was Elma. 

Court records allege Strain possessed an RG .38-caliber revolver, a Remington 870 without a barrel and a cut-off stock, two Remington 870 shotguns, a Ruger GP100 .357 magnum revolver, a Mosin-Nagant 7.62mm rifle, a Mossberg shotgun with 17.75-nich barrel, a Lakefield .22-caliber rifle, a Savage .223-caliber rifle 12-gauge shotgun combination, a Norinco shotgun, a Smith & Wesson .40-caliber pistol, an AR-7 Explorer .22-caliber rifle and a Ruger Security Six .357 magnum revolver on July 29, 2011.

Over the years, tips have placed Strain in Minnesota, Wyoming and Utah, according to the Marshals.

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