c994d02922b4f232d0dcff70499775a7084fa52a Former Proud Boys Chairman Enrique Tarrio Sentenced to 22 Years for Capitol Riot
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Former Proud Boys Chairman Enrique Tarrio Sentenced to 22 Years for Capitol Riot

Enrique Tarrio
(AP Photo/Allison Dinner, File)

Enrique Tarrio, the former national chairman of the Proud Boys, has been handed a 22-year prison sentence for his involvement in the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol. Tarrio is one of six Proud Boys leaders who have been charged with conspiring to impede the certification of the 2020 presidential election results in Congress. Among the group, Tarrio has received the longest sentence thus far.

Tarrio's sentencing was initially delayed due to the illness of Judge Timothy Kelly.

While prosecutors pushed for a 33-year sentence, Tarrio's lawyers implored Judge Kelly to impose a maximum sentence of 15 years.

To date, Tarrio's co-defendants in the Proud Boys conspiracy case have received significantly shorter prison terms than those requested by the government.

Among the Jan. 6 rioters, Ethan Nordean, the head of the Seattle chapter of the Proud Boys and Tarrio's co-defendant, along with Stewart Rhodes, the founder of the Oath Keepers, who was convicted in a separate case, have received the longest sentences thus far, with 18 years each.

Nordean was sentenced last week.

In May, Tarrio, Nordean, Joseph Biggs, and Zachary Rehl were all convicted of seditious conspiracy and other offenses. A fifth defendant, Dominic Pezzola, was acquitted of that charge but found guilty of assaulting officers and robbery involving government property.

Prosecutors had sought a 33-year sentence for Biggs, but Judge Kelly sentenced him to 17 years.

Tarrio was also convicted of obstructing an official proceeding, conspiracy to prevent an officer from carrying out their duties, obstruction of law enforcement during a civil disorder, and destruction of government property valued over $1,000.

Tarrio was not present at the Capitol riot as he had been arrested a few days earlier for setting fire to a Black Lives Matter banner stolen from a church in Washington, D.C. and was ordered to leave the city.

Prosecutors allege that Tarrio directed his Proud Boys to attack the Capitol from a hotel outside of D.C., even though he was not physically present.

Tarrio's defense attorneys argue that he had no contact with any members of the organization during the riot and attribute the orchestrating of the attack to Nordean and Biggs. They assert that participating in a protest does not equate to ordering others to storm the Capitol by any means necessary.

However, experts in extremism suggest that these sentences are unlikely to have a significant impact on the Proud Boys.

"They remain active organizing, recruiting," said Cassie Miller, a senior research analyst at the Southern Poverty Law Center. "And this authoritarian movement that they are a part of has continued to grow, as well."

Miller notes that unlike many other paramilitary groups, the Proud Boys have increased their membership and number of chapters since Jan. 6. She attributes this growth to their shift towards local activism on issues such as LGBTQ and abortion rights, rather than national organizing.


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