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Ex-Proud Boys leader Enrique Tarrio sentenced to 22 years for Jan. 6 riot role

Enrique Tarrio, the former national chairman of the Proud Boys, has been sentenced to 22 years in prison for his involvement in the January 6, 2021 attack on the U.S. Capitol. Tarrio is one of six Proud Boys leaders who faced charges related to conspiring to halt the certification of the 2020 presidential election results in Congress. Among these leaders, Tarrio has received the longest prison sentence so far.

Originally scheduled for sentencing last week, Tarrio’s hearing was postponed due to Judge Timothy Kelly’s illness.

Prosecutors had requested a 33-year sentence, while Tarrio’s defense urged Judge Kelly to impose a sentence of no longer than 15 years. To date, Tarrio’s co-defendants in the Proud Boys seditious conspiracy case have received significantly shorter prison sentences than what the government had sought. Among January 6 rioters, Ethan Nordean, the head of the Seattle chapter of the Proud Boys, received 18 years, while Oath Keepers founder Stewart Rhodes, convicted in a separate case, also received 18 years.

Tarrio, along with Nordean, Joseph Biggs, and Zachary Rehl, was convicted of seditious conspiracy and other charges in May. Another defendant, Dominic Pezzola, was acquitted of seditious conspiracy but found guilty of assaulting, resisting, or impeding certain officers and robbery involving government property.

Prosecutors had similarly sought a 33-year sentence for Joseph Biggs, but he was sentenced to 17 years by Judge Kelly. Tarrio was also convicted of obstructing an official proceeding, conspiracy to prevent an officer from discharging their duties, obstruction of law enforcement during a civil disorder, and destruction of government property valued at over $1,000.

While Tarrio was not present at the Capitol riot due to his earlier arrest for setting fire to a stolen Black Lives Matter banner, prosecutors argued that he directed the Proud Boys to attack the Capitol from a hotel outside Washington, D.C. Tarrio’s defense maintained that he was not in contact with any organization members during the riot and pointed to Nordean and Biggs as the orchestrators.

Despite these sentences, experts believe that the Proud Boys are unlikely to be significantly impacted, as they continue to organize, recruit, and grow. The group has shifted its focus from national organizing to local activism on issues such as LGBTQ and abortion rights restrictions, contributing to its sustained growth within the far-right movement.

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