Former Proud Boys leader Enrique Tarrio was sentenced Tuesday to 22 years in prison, the longest sentence handed down so far in connection with the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the U.S. Capitol.
Tarrio was convicted in May on several charges including seditious conspiracy — a felony involving attempting “to overthrow, put down or to destroy by force the government of the United States” — for his role in planning the storming of the Capitol, when thousands of supporters of Donald Trump tried to stop Congress from certifying the election that the outgoing president has falsely claimed was rigged.
Federal prosecutors had sought a 33-year prison sentence.
Tarrio was not in Washington the day of the violence because another judge had ordered him to stay out of D.C. Prosecutors said he helped direct the attack from Baltimore.
Tarrio, 39, pleaded for leniency, describing Jan. 6 as a “national embarrassment,” and apologizing to the police officers who defended the Capitol and the lawmakers who fled in fear.
“Please show me mercy,” he said, adding, “I ask you that you not take my 40s from me.”
Three other members of the far-right extremist group — who were found guilty of the same rarely used sedition charge — were sentenced last week to prison terms ranging from 15 to 18 years. The man who founded the far-right Oath Keepers militia was also convicted of seditious conspiracy. One former Proud Boys member was acquitted of the charge.
Here is a rundown of the other men convicted and their sentences:
Nordean was referred to during his trial by prosecutors as the Proud Boys’ “undisputed leader on the ground,” on Jan. 6. He was convicted of seditious conspiracy.
According to court documents, Nordean led a group of nearly 200 men toward the U.S. Capitol, then moved to the front of the mob and helped tear down a fence, allowing rioters to pour onto the grounds and confront police.
Nordean told the judge he now sees Jan. 6 as a “complete and utter tragedy.”
Prosecutors had asked for a 27-year sentence; he was given 18 years.
Rhodes is a Yale-educated lawyer and former U.S. army paratrooper. He also founded the Oath Keepers in 2009. He has worn an eye patch since accidentally shooting himself in the face with his own gun.
Rhodes was convicted, in a separate case from the Proud Boys, of seditious conspiracy in connection to the Jan. 6 attack, along with obstructing an official proceeding and tampering with documents.
He was sentenced in May to 18 years in prison. Prosecutors, who had sought 25 years, are appealing the sentence.
The former Proud Boys member was convicted of seditious conspiracy among other serious charges and received a 17-year sentence.
Prosecutors had argued that Tarrio chose Biggs and Nordean to be the group leaders on the ground in his absence. They said Biggs was a key instigator of the violence that unfolded that day, using a megaphone to lead rioters in a chant of “Whose Capitol? Our Capitol!” according to a court filing.
They went on to say Biggs tore down fencing and scaled scaffolding before entering the Capitol.
Ahead of his sentencing, he told the judge he had “messed up that day,” but insisted, he is “not a terrorist.”
Prosecutors had sought a 33-year sentence, arguing Biggs and his fellow defendants “intentionally positioned themselves at the vanguard of political violence in this country.”
Rehl, another Proud Boys leader, was sentenced alongside Biggs to 15 years.
Prosecutors said he had been seen on video spraying a chemical irritant at law enforcement officers outside the Capitol on Jan. 6, and led at least three other men into the Capitol and a senator’s office, where he smoked and posed for pictures while flashing the Proud Boys’ hand gesture.
During his sentencing, U.S. District Judge Timothy Kelly, a Trump appointee, read from some of the “chilling” messages Rehl sent after Jan. 6, including one, the judge said, that read: “Everyone should have showed up armed and taken the country back the right way.”
Kelly shook his head and said, “I mean, my God.”
Rehl told the judge he deeply regretted being at the Capitol that day. “Politicians started spreading lies about the election, and I fell for it hook, line and sinker,” he said.
Pezzola was the only member of the Proud Boys charged with seditious conspiracy who was acquitted of the charge. He was convicted of several other felonies, though, including obstructing an official proceeding and assaulting police.
Though not a leader of the group, prosecutors argued the relatively recent recruit had been “an enthusiastic foot soldier.”
Pezzola smashed a window with a police officer’s shield when the Capitol was first breached, allowing other rioters to stream into the building. He later filmed a “celebratory video” with a cigar inside the building, prosecutors said.
He was sentenced to 10 years in prison.
According to the U.S. Justice Department, more than 1,000 people have been charged in connection to the Jan. 6 attack.
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