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N. Lehigh grad guilty of assaulting officers

A Lehigh County man, who graduated from Northern Lehigh High School, and a Montana man were found guilty on May 24 in federal court of all charges against them related to the breach of the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, according to the Justice Department.

Craig Michael Bingert, 31, of Allentown, and Isaac Steve Sturgeon, 34, of Dillon, Montana, and were found guilty following a trial before U.S. District Court Judge Royce C. Lamberth, who scheduled sentencing hearings for Aug. 25 for both defendants.

Bingert and Sturgeon were each convicted of seven charges: 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.

Bingert graduated from Northern Lehigh in 2009. According to his LinkedIn page, he graduated from Mansfield University in 2013 with a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice/law enforcement administration. He studied at Lehigh Carbon Community College from 2009-2011 before going to Mansfield.

According to evidence presented at trial, on Jan. 6, 2021, Bingert and Sturgeon marched to the grounds of the U.S. Capitol Building where they advanced up the southwest stairs and assaulted a line of police officers.

Bingert and Sturgeon were at the front of a mob facing a line of police officers, and after a fellow rioter counted down “1,2,3 Go!”, Bingert and Sturgeon each grabbed the barricade in front of the police officers and pushed it into the officers.

Then, along with other rioters, Bingert and Sturgeon lifted the barricade up to crawl underneath it in an attempt to break through the police line. Following the assault, both Bingert and Sturgeon remained on the grounds of the U.S. Capitol Building, including on and around the inaugural stage, until they were removed by law enforcement. Sturgeon posted videos of violence against the police to his social media accounts, and in one, he stated that “this is a (expletive) revolution.”

The case is being prosecuted by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia. Assistance was provided by the U.S. Attorney’s Offices for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania and the Eastern District of New York.

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

Craig Bingert