BISMARCK — A Dakota Access Pipeline protester who was jailed earlier this month for refusing to comply with a grand jury investigation was released Monday, Feb. 22, on a judge's orders.
The arrest of Steve Martinez, a 46-year-old Bismarck resident, after being held in contempt of court three weeks ago signaled that a federal investigation into a 2016 clash between DAPL protesters and law enforcement was still ongoing.
In a statement, attorneys for Martinez said he was re-subpoenaed before getting out of jail for another grand jury appearance on March 3. According to the statement, Martinez was released under the ruling of U.S. District Judge Daniel Traynor, who said that contempt of court sanctions imposed by a U.S. magistrate judge were unlawful.
Though the proceedings of grand juries are shielded from the public, the arrest of Martinez suggests the continuation of a federal investigation into a violent 2016 altercation between pipeline protestors and law enforcement that resulted in the severe injury of then 20-year-old protester Sophia Wilansky in an explosion.
The latest subpoena marks the third for Martinez, who also refused to comply with a grand jury investigation into the Wilanksy injury four years ago.