by WorldTribune Staff, September 6, 2023
Former Proud Boys chairman Enrique Tarrio, who was not in Washington, D.C. on Jan. 6, 2021, has been sentenced to 22 years behind bars in connection to the breach at the U.S. Capitol.
It is the longest sentence to date handed down in the Biden Department of Justice’s J6 investigations.
A federal jury in D.C. found Tarrio, the son of Cuban immigrants, guilty of seditious conspiracy in May. He was sentenced on Tuesday by Judge Timothy Kelly.
The seditious conspiracy law was enacted after the Civil War to arrest Southerners who might keep fighting the U.S. government. Though the law is extremely rare in its application and hard to prove, the Biden DOJ has used it about a dozen times in connection to the J6 protests and had success.
“I am not a political zealot. Inflicting harm or changing the results of the election was not my goal,” Tarrio said before sentencing. “Please show me mercy. I ask that you not take my 40s away from me.”
Though Tarrio was not in D.C. on Jan. 6, prosecutors argued that he was a leader and not a foot soldier, calling him “intelligent, charming, creative, and articulate” and claiming that he used those talents to “inflame and radicalize an untold number of followers.”
Prosecutors highlighted a document outlining a Capitol takeover that was sent to Tarrio on social media platform Telegram called “1776 Returns.” Tarrio did not directly respond to the sent document and claims he never even saw it, let alone opened it.
Defense lawyers maintained throughout the trial that there was not a single shred of written evidence to show that Tarrio conspired to stop the certification of the 2020 election.
Two other Proud Boy members, Joe Biggs and Ethan Nordean, have also been convicted of seditious conspiracy. Judge Kelly sentenced Biggs to 17 years years behind bars and Nordean was hit with 18 years. Another Proud Boy, Zachary Rehl, was also convicted of seditious conspiracy, was given a 15-year prison sentence by Judge Kelly. Moreover, two Oath Keepers who have been convicted of seditious conspiracy; Stewart Rhodes has been sentenced to 18 years, and Kelly Meggs to 12 years.
The “existential threat” is a bunch of guys infiltrated by FBI planning a trip to DC to protest a rigged election; using inflammatory language in group chats infiltrated by FBI informants; and going into a public building during business hours.
No weapons or assault necessary! pic.twitter.com/nQKRU8QG2A
— Julie Kelly 🇺🇸 (@julie_kelly2) August 29, 2023