A Texas man who worked for the far-right website Infowars, owned by conspiracy theorist Alex Jones, was sentenced to three years of probation on Wednesday for storming the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021.
Samuel Christopher Montoya was credited as a video editor for Infowars at the time of the Capitol attack, according to court filings. In an approximately 44-minute video that captured his movements outside and inside the Capitol, Montoya is seen describing himself to others as a “reporter” or “journalist,” and he captured footage of the death of Ashli Babbitt, who was among the mob of rioters when she was shot fatally by police officers.
In addition to three years of probation, Montoya was also ordered to pay a fine of $1,500 and $500 in restitution.
Montoya, who was arrested April 2021, pleaded guilty in November to a misdemeanor count of parading, demonstrating or picketing in a Capitol, which carries a maximum sentence of up to six months of imprisonment.
Last month, prosecutors had recommended a sentence of 45 days in prison, 36 months of probation, 60 hours of community service and $500 in restitution for Montoya.
In the video he filmed for Infowars on the day of the riot, Montoya identified himself as “Sam with Infowars.com,” according to court filings. At one point, he turns the camera on himself and says, “It feels good to be in the Capitol, baby!”
Jones, who boosted former President Donald Trump’s baseless claims of widespread fraud in the 2020 election, denied sending Montoya to Washington on the outlet’s behalf, prosecutors said in a court filing last month.
“Jones said that Montoya went to D.C. on his own, and that Jones had instructed his staff not to go inside the U.S. Capitol,” Assistant U.S. Attorney Alexis Loeb wrote.
Loeb also noted that Montoya had used the notoriety from his participation in the Capitol riot to launch an unsuccessful congressional campaign in Texas during the 2022 election cycle, using the website, "capitolsam.com."
In an online appearance, Montoya said he was running because of his experience being “‘targeted and persecuted’ for his conduct on January 6.” He lost the primary election in March 2022.