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ButteNews.net
Sept 27, 2023

 

Defendants Pushed Bike Rack Against Police Outside U.S. Capitol

            WASHINGTON - A Montana man and a Pennsylvania man were sentenced in the District of Columbia on Tuesday, Sept. 26, 2023, on several felony and misdemeanor charges, including assaulting law enforcement, related to their actions during the Jan. 6, 2021, breach of the U.S. Capitol. Their actions and the actions of others disrupted a joint session of the U.S. Congress convened to ascertain and count the electoral votes related to the 2020 presidential election. 

            Craig Michael Bingert, 32, of Allentown, Pennsylvania, was sentenced to 96 months in prison, 36 months of supervised release, and ordered to pay $2,000 in restitution.  

            Isaac Steve Sturgeon, 34, of Dillon, Montana, was sentenced to 72 months in prison, 36 months of supervised release, and ordered to pay $2,000 in restitution.

            U.S. District Court Judge Royce C. Lamberth sentenced both Bingert and Sturgeon. Judge Lamberth convicted the pair following a bench trial on May 24, 2023, of seven charges, including obstruction of an official proceeding; assaulting, resisting, or impeding certain officers; civil disorder, all felonies; entering and remaining in a restricted building or grounds; disorderly and disruptive conduct in a restricted building or grounds; engaging in physical violence in a restricted building or grounds; and engaging in an act of physical violence in the grounds or any of the Capitol buildings.

   

Assault on US Capitol on Jan 6
Assault on US Capitol on January 6, 2021

        According to evidence presented at trial and court documents, Bingert and Sturgeon traveled separately from their respective hometowns to Washington, D.C., to attend the “Stop the Steal” rally on Jan. 6, 2021, and later marched toward the U.S. Capitol building. Acting independently, the two made their way onto the restricted grounds of the Capitol and joined the mob on the West Front at the base of the inaugural stage. Soon, the mob reached its full strength, violently breaking down the police line and forcing the officers to retreat. After the officers were forced up the southwest stairs under the scaffolding, Bingert and Sturgeon followed only minutes later.

            The duo then climbed through the inaugural stage scaffolding, up the southwest stairs, and made their way to the front of the mob at the top of the stairs, where police had formed a line behind a row of bike racks being used as a barricade to defend the Capitol. At approximately 2:45 p.m., Bingert and Sturgeon stood side-by-side directly in front of the bike racks and police at the top of the southwest stairs. The pair and others grabbed the metal bike rack in front of them and pushed it hard against the police, resulting in injury to at least one officer. Both men remained on the Upper West Terrace for at least two hours after this assault, watching the brutal attacks on the police occurring on the Lower West Terrace below them. They both remained on restricted grounds until police forcibly removed them.

            This case was prosecuted by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia. Valuable assistance was provided by the U.S. Attorney’s Offices for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania and the Eastern District of New York.

            The case was investigated by the FBI’s Washington Field Office, which identified Bingert as AFO #105 and Sturgeon as AFO #104 on their seeking information photos. Valuable assistance was provided by the FBI’s Philadelphia and New York Field Offices, the Joint Terrorism Task Force Kenya, as well as the Metropolitan Police Department and the U.S. Capitol Police.

            In the 32 months since Jan. 6, 2021, more than 1,100 individuals have been charged in nearly all 50 states for crimes related to the breach of the U.S. Capitol, including more than 396 individuals charged with assaulting or impeding law enforcement, a felony. The investigation remains ongoing.

            Anyone with tips can call 1-800-CALL-FBI (800-225-5324) or visit tips.fbi.gov.