Moorhead man federally charged for actions taken during Fargo Riot

Published: Sep. 30, 2020 at 9:49 PM CDT|Updated: Sep. 30, 2020 at 10:15 PM CDT
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FARGO, N.D. (Valley News Live) -

Three months ago tonight, downtown Fargo was a dangerous place to be as dozens of protesters went head-to-head with police after the death of George Floyd. Now, a second man is charged in federal court and we’re told he won’t be the last.

North Dakota U.S. Attorney Drew Wrigley announced this afternoon that a Moorhead man is facing a civil disorder charge. Authorities say Jonathan Montanez was agitating the crowd the night of the May 30th riots by jumping on a police squad car and damaging it.

If convicted of the felony charge, he could spend up to five years in prison and pay up to a quarter of a million dollars. Police are working with the FBI to identify even more people, so they can pursue charges.

“Every single person we can prove we can prove all of the elements of a federal offense, we will indicte,” Wrigley says. “I don’t have a set number, but anybody watching the TV that night and knows about the activities that took place up the street from the courthouse understands that there is a fairly significant number.”

Montanez will appear in court again Friday at 2 p.m. Wrigley says they’re seeking to detain him until his trial, which will take place in federal court in Fargo on Nov. 17. Wrigley adds, so far, there’s been about 300 people indicted for rioting nationwide.

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