Helena Man Admits to Firing Gun in Glacier Park Standoff

Jesiah Richards will pay fine after he pleaded guilty to discharging a weapon

By Justin Franz
A vehicle drives past the Glacier National Park sign at the west entrance of the park. - Lido Vizzutti/Flathead Beacon

A 28-year-old Helena man pleaded guilty to discharging a weapon and endangering other people nearly four months after a standoff forced the evacuation of a campground in Glacier National Park.

Jesiah Richards appeared in U.S. District Court in Great Falls on Oct. 25 and agreed to pay a $530 fine.

According to court documents, Richards shot a round from a .44-caliber revolver through the roof of his tent on the evening of July 9 at the Sprague Creek Campground. He then left his campsite and headed for the shores of Lake McDonald where a standoff with National Park Service rangers took place, according to charging documents.

“The campground was filled and people were all around the site,” charging documents state. “(Richards) proceeded with the revolver still loaded with five live rounds and took up a position along the lakeshore of Lake McDonald at the edge of the campground. Not until four armed law enforcement rangers confronted him did he eventually give up the firearm and surrender.”

Carrying a firearm in Glacier Park is legal following a change to the law in 2010. However, firing a weapon in Glacier is illegal.

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