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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
District of North Dakota

Monday, April 5, 2021

Moorhead Man Sentenced to Two Years in Federal Prison for Civil Disorder during the May 30th, 2020, Fargo Violent Protests

Fargo – Acting United States Attorney Nick Chase announced that U.S. District Court Chief Judge Peter D. Welte sentenced Jonathan Montanezage, age 31 of Moorhead, MN, to serve two years in federal prison with 3 years of supervised release to follow for the charge of Civil Disorder, 18 USC 231 (a)(3), during violent protests in Fargo, ND.

On May 30, 2020, what started as peaceful protest in Fargo turned violent when some individuals, including Montanezage, jumped on top of an occupied Fargo Police Department vehicle and slammed his fists on the police vehicle causing extensive damage. Montanezage was also provoked other protesters to become violent and destructive. That criminal behavior caused many serious injuries to law enforcement officers and caused thousands of dollars in damages to businesses in downtown Fargo.

"The FBI’s mission is to uphold the Constitution, which includes freedom of speech and the right to assemble. Jonathan Montanez took personal advantage of what was supposed to be a peaceful protest that day, to engage in criminal activity," said FBI Minneapolis Special Agent in Charge, Michael Paul. "The FBI will continue to work closely with our state, local and federal law enforcement partners and prosecutors to protect our citizens' right to engage in lawful protest from individuals seeking to engage in violence and criminal activity."

This case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Fargo Police Department, and was prosecuted by the United States Attorney’s office, with Assistant United States Attorney Richard Lee assigned to the case.


Terry W. Van Horn 701-297-7458
Updated April 5, 2021