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2 Montana brothers released pending trial in Capitol breach
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2 Montana brothers released pending trial in Capitol breach

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Joshua Calvin Hughes

Joshua Hughes

Jerod Wade Hughes

Jerod Hughes

HELENA — Two Montana brothers who prosecutors say were among the first people to break into the U.S. Capitol in January while the Electoral College vote was being certified were ordered released from custody Wednesday pending trial.

U.S. District Judge Timothy J. Kelly said Joshua Calvin Hughes and Jerod Wade Hughes could be released on their own recognizance in the High Intensity Supervision Program. A status conference is set for June 8, court records said.

Jerod Hughes pleaded not guilty on March 26, and Joshua Hughes pleaded not guilty Wednesday during a video hearing. Both face nine federal charges, including civil disorder, destruction of government property, entering a restricted building and entering the Senate floor.

The Capitol Police force is struggling to keep up with its demands and there are worries more officers could leave after the latest attack.That's according to the head of the Capitol Police union. He's asking Congress to up security and implement the plan a task force proposed last month, which includes adding more than 1,000 officers. On Friday, a 25-year-old man drove a car into a barricade on Capitol grounds. Officers shot and killed him after he got out of the car and moved toward them.Officer William "Billy" Evans was killed in the attack. Another officer was injured.In a statement, the head of the Capitol Police labor union said another 500 officers will be eligible to retire over the next three to five years, and some of them could retire early.He says he's also heard from younger officers that they're looking to leave the force. 

Prosecutors say the brothers, who live in East Helena, were among the first 10 people to enter the Capitol through a broken window on Jan. 6 and that Jerod Hughes helped kick open a door to let other rioters in.

The brothers directly followed a man who pursued Capitol Police Officer Eugene Goodman up the stairs and later found their way to the Senate floor, prosecutors said.

In his petition for pretrial release, Jerod Hughes' attorney wrote that Hughes and his brother traveled to Washington, D.C., to protest what he believed was a "stolen election," and that "he acted out of conscience, albeit one that was manipulated by deception."

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Helena
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A District of Columbia grand jury has returned nine counts each against two East Helena brothers for their alleged roles in the Jan. 6 riot on the U.S. Capitol that protested the election of Democrat Joe Biden as president.

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