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Northern Iowa felon sent to prison for unlawfully possessing over a dozen guns

This news story was published on February 12, 2020.
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CEDAR RAPIDS – A Northern Iowa felon has been sent to prison for unlawfully possessing over a dozen guns.

A convicted felon who unlawfully possessed over a dozen guns in a small northern Iowa town was sentenced today to nearly nine years in federal prison.

Michael Duane Strain, age 63, who was most recently residing in Montana and previously lived in Elma, Iowa, and Minnesota received the prison term after an October 16, 2019 jury verdict finding him guilty of two counts of being a felon in possession of a firearm.

Evidence at trial showed that Strain was living in Elma, Iowa, in late 2010 and early 2011. During that time, Strain frequented a firearms dealer in Elma. Strain was told he could not purchase any guns without filling out paperwork, which he refused to do. Strain was a convicted felon. Strain did purchase ammunition and firearms accessories. He also brought a rifle into the dealer for repair.

Law enforcement started investigating Strain for unlawfully possessing guns. They eventually searched the home Strain shared with his brother and a woman. During the search, officers found thirteen guns in the open, some of which were staged near windows and doors. One of the guns was a sawed-off shotgun. Officers also found ammunition and accessories Strain had purchased.

Following the search, Strain left Iowa at some point. He was indicted in 2011 for two counts of unlawfully possessing guns. The United States Marshal’s Service located Strain in July 2019. Strain was living in rural Montana. The Marshal’s Service, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives arrested Strain and searched his residence. They found dozens of guns and thousands of rounds of ammunition staged around the residence.

Strain’s criminal history includes multiple prior felony convictions out of Minnesota. He was convicted of fleeing from police in 2001. He was also convicted of possessing a pipe bomb and a pistol later in 2001. The pipe bomb was found in Strain’s vehicle, which he had parked near a courthouse while attending a court hearing. In 2003, Strain was convicted of possessing a short-barreled shotgun.

Strain was sentenced in Cedar Rapids by United States District Court Judge C.J. Williams. Strain was sentenced to 105 months’ imprisonment and fined $12,500. He must also serve a three-year term of supervised release after the prison term. There is no parole in the federal system.

michael strain

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