HELENA — Isaac Steve Sturgeon of Dillon has been accused of participating in the January 6th riot at the U.S. Capitol.
Sturgeon, the fourth person from Montana to be implicated, has been indicted on more than a half-dozen charges, including obstruction of justice; assaulting, resisting; or impeding officers; engaging in physical violence in a restricted building; and an act of physical violence in the Capitol grounds.
Prosecutors allege in court documents that Sturgeon was seen on an officer's body-worn camera on January 6 and was part of a group who picked up a metal barricade and shoved it into a group of D.C. Metropolitan Police officers.
Court documents say authorities were able to identify and link Sturgeon to the Capitol riot through tips and social media posts. However, Sturgeon flew to Kenya on January 24 and did not have a return flight booked until early April. But Kenyan authorities ordered Sturgeon deported back to the United States.
He was arrested at JFK International Airport in New York on Saturday.
Witnesses told authorities that Sturgeon traveled frequently. A search of his name shows that Montana U.S. Senator Steve Daines helped Sturgeon return from Morocco in March of last year, at the start of the pandemic. An email from Sen. Daines office dated March 21, 2020 said Sturgeon became stuck overseas due to the coronavirus outbreak and was trying to return home to family. In a statement to MTN News, Daines' office said that the Senator had helped Sturgeon at the request of Sturgeon's parents who know Senator Daines.
Daine's office also disclosed a second time it helped Sturgeon with a passport issue late last year. According to the statement, "On December 14th 2020, Mr. Sturgeon’s mother reached out for help on a passport renewal for her son, which was originally submitted back in June 2020. As these issues take time, it wasn’t resolved until January 8th, 2021. Mr. Sturgeon then flew to Kenya on the 24th – this of course is cleared/approved by the State Department as is all travel abroad."
Senator Daines' office said neither the Senator nor the team's caseworker had knowledge of Sturgeon's alleged involvement in the Capitol riot and that the office handles hundreds of requests for passport assistance each year. They said they disclosed the assistance provided to Sturgeon be transparent. They also reiterated that the Senator has denounced the events of January 6 and condemns all violence.
Sturgeon had also previously showed interest in joining the National Guard. MTN interviewed him in August of 2019 at a National Guard recruiting event in Helena.
Three other Montanans have been charged with participating in the January 6 riot. Dillon business owner Hank Muntzer has pleaded not guilty to five changes. Brothers Joshua and Jerod Hughes turned themselves in at the police station in Helena. A federal judge in Great Falls ordered them returned to Washington, D.C. while they away trial.