Proud Boys leader Enrique Tarrio sentenced to 22 years in prison

Former leader of the right-wing militia, "Proud Boys leader Enrique Tarrio sentenced to 22 years in prison". The prison sentence was given for his role in the attack on the United States Capitol (US) on January 6, 2021.

"The day breaks down our previously uninterrupted tradition of the peaceful transfer of power," U.S. District Judge Timothy Kelly said of efforts to halt congressional certification of Democratic Joe Biden's 2020 presidential victory over Donald Trump.

Proud Boys chairman Enrique Tarrio rallies in Portland, Ore., on Aug. 17, 2019. (Photo: Noah Berger/AP)

"Mr. Tarrio was the main leader in this conspiracy," Kelly said during a sentencing hearing that lasted nearly four hours in the nation's capital.

The 22-year sentence was the heaviest ever handed down

Prosecutors had sought a 33-year prison sentence for Tarrio, who was not in Washington on Jan. 6. But he is accused of directing a military-style attack on the Capitol by members of the Proud Boys and supporters of the former president.

Tarrio, 39, along with several other members of the Proud Boys, was found guilty of seditious conspiracy in May for their role in the attack.

Another Proud Boys member, Ethan Nordean, 32, received an 18-year prison sentence from Kelly last week. Stewart Rhodes, the founder of another right-wing militia involved in the siege of the Capitol, the Oath Keepers, was also sentenced to 18 years in prison earlier this year.

Also, read: United States First Lady Jill Biden has tested positive for COVID-19.

Tarrio addressed the court before the sentencing, saying Jan. 6 was a national embarrassment. "My candidate lost," he said. "I keep fighting when I should have been calmer."

Tarrio, apparently moved several times, apologized to members of law enforcement who were attacked by the attackers on what he described as a terrible day. "I failed terribly," he said. "This trial has humbled me."

Prosecutor Conor Mulroe, in proposing a 33-year prison sentence, said Tarrio and other members of the Proud Boys tried to use force and violence to try to implement their views on what was right for the country. "Mr. Tarrio, with the help of his colleagues, put together this group," Mulroe said.

In the sentencing memorandum, prosecutors described Tarrio as an accomplished propagandist and although he was not physically present in Washington on Jan. 6, he did more damage than he could have done as an individual assailant.

They said Tarrio acted as a general rather than a soldier. "The only reason Tarrio did not march with the others is because he was arrested upon arrival in Washington DC and placed under a court order to leave the District," they added.

The attack on Congress left at least five people dead and 140 police officers wounded and followed a fiery speech by Trump to tens of thousands of his supporters near the White House, in which he repeated his false claims that he won the election.

Trump will stand trial in Washington in March on charges of conspiring to overturn the results of the November 2020 election. He also faces similar charges in a separate case in the southern state of Georgia.

Trump, 77, was impeached for a second time by the House of Representatives after the riot at the Capitol — he was accused of inciting an insurrection — but was acquitted by the Senate. 

More than 1,100 people have been indicted by the Justice Department in the Capitol attack. A total of 630 of them have pleaded guilty to various charges, and 110 of them were found guilty in the trial.

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