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Dillon business owner pleads not guilty to federal charges related to Capitol riot

The exterior of the U.S. Capitol is seen beyond a barrier, a day after rioters, with seemingly little pushback from law enforcement, managed to storm into the building.
Posted at 6:59 PM, Feb 19, 2021
and last updated 2021-02-19 20:59:55-05

HELENA — On Friday, Dillon business owner Hank Muntzer entered a plea of not guilty to D.C. District Judge Amit Mehta for his alleged actions at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6.

A grand jury brought five charges against Muntzer.

Hank Muntzer in front of his store in Dillon, MT
Hank Muntzer in front of his store in Dillon, MT

Muntzer told MTN he plans to fight the charges and believes videos he recorded will show that he did nothing wrong.

“There were 5,000 people in the building so are they going to arrest all 5,000 people and bring charges against them or are these the people that were outspoken the most?“ Muntzer told MTN. “I was just supporting my president, I had no idea we were even going to the Capitol that day... We didn’t know that until he announced it at his speech.”

Muntzer wants it to be clear he doesn’t support violence against anyone, he was just there to support former President Trump.

“I love my country and I care about where our vote counts,” said Muntzer. “I do not care if it’s Republican or Democrat, but if we’re not free then we’re all slaves. That’s the question we all need to ask. I believe the truth has no friends and no enemies and that’s what we should all be seeking.”

The charges against Muntzer include: Obstruction of an Official Proceeding; Entering and Remaining in a Restricted Building; Disorderly and Disruptive Conduct in a Restricted Building or Grounds; Disorderly Conduct in a Capitol Building; and Parading, Demonstrating, or Picketing in a Capitol Building.

In addition, new information has come out regarding Joshua and Jerod Hughes who are facing separate charges for their alleged action at the Capitol on Jan. 6.

Joshua Calvin Hughes and Jerod Wade Hughes of Montana charged in connection with US Capitol riot
Joshua Calvin Hughes and Jerod Wade Hughes of Montana charged in connection with US Capitol riot

On Feb. 10 a grand jury returned nine charges, including felony charges, for the East Helena brothers.

The charges include: Civil Disorder; Obstruction of an Official Proceeding; Destruction of Government Property; Disorderly Conduct in the Capitol Building, and Entering; Entering and Remaining in Certain Rooms in a Capitol Building; Remaining on the Floor of Congress; Disorderly Conduct in a Capitol Building; and Parading, Demonstrating, or Picketing in a Capitol Building.

Prosecutors say that the men were among the first 10 rioters to enter the Capitol at a certain part of the building.

Investigators also accused Jerod Hughes of working with another man to kick open a door to allow more people to enter the building.

On Feb. 1, Federal Magistrate Judge John Johnston approved a motion to transfer the brothers back to Washington, D.C.

The two men have yet to be arraigned on the charge.