Federal jury convicts Onamia felon for illegal possession of a firearm

Justin Lyle Cutbank was arrested Nov. 19, 2020 after threatening to kill a woman in Cass County.

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A crime scene.
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MINNEAPOLIS – A federal jury found an Onamia man guilty of illegally possessing a firearm following a domestic assault in Cass County, U.S. Attorney Andrew M. Luger announced Friday, March 17.

Following a four-day trial before Senior Judge Michael J. Davis, Justin Lyle Cutbank, 36, was convicted on one count of possessing a firearm as a felon. A sentencing hearing will be scheduled at a later date.

According to evidence presented at trial and court documents, on Nov. 19, 2020, Leech Lake Tribal Police were dispatched to a residence following a report that Cutbank 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 cellphone.

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

This case is 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 are prosecuting the case.

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