Enrique Tarrio, the former leader of the far-right Proud Boys, has been sentenced to 22 years in federal prison for his involvement in the January 6th attack on the U.S. Capitol.
This is the longest sentence handed down in a January 6th case so far, surpassing the 18-year sentence given to Oath Keepers founder Stewart Rhodes, who was also convicted of seditious conspiracy.
Tarrio, along with three other Proud Boys, was found guilty of seditious conspiracy in May. Federal prosecutors had sought a 33-year prison sentence. U.S. District Judge Timothy Kelly had already imposed shorter terms than what prosecutors requested for Tarrio’s co-defendants.
Last week, Joe Biggs received a 17-year sentence, Zachary Rehl got 15 years, and Ethan Nordean was sentenced to 18 years. A fifth Proud Boy, Dominic Pezzola, was found not guilty of seditious conspiracy but was convicted on other charges and received a 10-year sentence.
Federal prosecutors described Tarrio as a charismatic leader and propagandist who wielded significant influence over his followers. They argued that he used his influence to organize and execute the conspiracy to disrupt the peaceful transfer of power on January 6th. Tarrio had been arrested about 48 hours before the Capitol attack, and prosecutors suggested that he strategically timed his arrest to incite a reaction from his followers.
Although Tarrio was not physically present at the Capitol during the attack, prosecutors argued that his leadership role made him a key figure in the conspiracy. They also sought a terrorism sentencing enhancement, which the judge applied, emphasizing that Tarrio’s actions were intended to influence the government.
In his defense, Tarrio’s lawyers argued that he was a misguided patriot who went to Washington to protest. They presented letters of support to the court, including one from a cousin who worked for the Miami police for 16 years.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Conor Mulroe countered by characterizing Tarrio’s actions as a calculated act of terrorism. He argued that Tarrio’s plan involved nationwide street violence against the government. Mulroe emphasized that the Proud Boys’ actions were pivotal in the events of January 6th.
Before his sentencing, Tarrio delivered a statement expressing remorse and apologizing to law enforcement, the citizens of Washington, lawmakers, and his family. He also distanced himself from his previous political involvement, claiming he had no intention of changing the election’s outcome on January 6th.
The January 6th attack on the Capitol has so far led to over 1,100 arrests, with more than 300 individuals sentenced to prison terms. New arrests continue to be made in connection with the attack.