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Department of Justice

U.S. Attorney's Office
District of Minnesota
Andrew M. Luger, United States Attorney
For Immediate Release
Wednesday, January 24, 2024

Northern Minnesota Felon Sentenced to More Than 24 Years in Prison for Illegal Possession of a Firearm

MINNEAPOLIS — An Onamia man has been sentenced to 292 months in prison followed by five years of supervised release for illegal possession of a firearm following a domestic assault, announced U.S. Attorney Andrew M. Luger. 

According to court documents, on Nov. 19, 2020, Leech Lake Tribal Police were dispatched to a residence following a report that Justin Lyle Cutbank, 37, had physically assaulted a woman, held her at gunpoint, threatened to kill her and then fled the residence into the woods. Shortly after officers arrived at the residence and took the victim’s statement, a neighbor reported that Cutbank was in their garage and refused to leave. Officers from multiple agencies responded to the location and found Cutbank barricaded in the garage. Several hours of negotiations followed with Cutbank retreating into the attic of the garage and refusing to surrender. Ultimately, officers were able to apprehend Cutbank, who continued to actively resist arrest. The following day, officers searched the wooded area where Cutbank had fled and found a Marlin Model 100 .22 caliber rifle with no serial number, a knife and the victim’s cell phone.

Because Cutbank has multiple prior felony convictions, he is prohibited under federal law from possessing firearms or ammunition at any time. 

On March 17, 2023, Cutbank was convicted by a federal jury on one count of possession of a firearm by a felon. He was sentenced yesterday in U.S. District Court by Judge Michael J. Davis.

This case was the result of an investigation conducted by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension, the Leech Lake Tribal Police Department, the Paul Bunyan Drug Task Force and the Cass County Sheriff’s Office.

Assistant U.S. Attorneys Bradley M. Endicott and Ruth S. Shnider prosecuted the case.


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