Henry “Enrique” Tarrio Jr., the Florida-based former chairman of the Proud Boys accused of being the mastermind of a seditious conspiracy to attack the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, was sentenced to 22 years in federal prison on Sept. 5 by U.S. District Judge Timothy Kelly.
Mr. Tarrio, 39, of Miami, received the longest prison term among all Jan. 6 defendants, eclipsing the previous record of 18 years given to Oath Keepers founder Elmer Stewart Rhodes III in May, and Mr. Tarrio’s co-defendant, Ethan Nordean, on Sept. 1.
Prosecution of Mr. Tarrio and his Proud Boys lieutenants included the most extended Jan. 6 criminal trial—more than four months—held in the E. Barrett Prettyman United States Courthouse in Washington, D.C.
Mr. Tarrio was the last of his trial group to be handed a sentence by Judge Kelly, an appointee of former President Donald J. Trump. Mr. Nordean was sentenced to 18 years, Joseph Biggs 17 years, Zachary Rehl 15 years, and Dominic Pezzola 10 years.
Federal prosecutors sought a 33-year prison term for Mr. Tarrio, described in court documents as a “naturally charismatic leader, a savvy propagandist, and the celebrity chairman of the national Proud Boys organization.” Prosecutors claimed he exhibited "pernicious, violence-oriented leadership."
During a nearly four-hour sentencing hearing, defense attorneys said 15 years would be a sufficient prison term.
Mr. Tarrio expressed remorse for Jan. 6, for letting down his grandfather and his family, and for not respecting law enforcement.
He asked the judge for leniency so he could return to society and turn away from "my selfish endeavors." Mr. Tarrio said the trial has humbled him and he no longer wants anything to do with rallies or politics.
"I am not a political zealot," he said.
Calling seditious conspiracy a "serious offense," Judge Kelly said Mr. Tarrio was the "ultimate leader" of the conspiracy who schemed to have government buildings taken over on Jan. 6. What happened that day was a "disgrace," the judge said.
Although Mr. Tarrio was not physically present in Washington on Jan. 6, Judge Kelly applied a sentence enhancement for terrorism based on the attack on Capitol fencing by Mr. Biggs and Mr. Nordean. Judge Kelly said the seditious conspiracy made Mr. Tarrio complicit in the fence destruction and deserving of the terrorism enhancement.
On May 4, Mr. Tarrio was found guilty by a jury of seditious conspiracy, conspiracy to obstruct an official proceeding, obstruction of an official proceeding, conspiracy to use force, intimidation, or threat to prevent officers of the United States from discharging their duties, interference with law enforcement during civil disorder, and destruction of government property.
Mr. Tarrio was found not guilty of assaulting, resisting, or impeding certain officers. The jury could not reach a verdict on two other counts.
Much like the Oath Keepers put on trial in 2022 and 2023, Mr. Tarrio was accused of plotting to thwart the “peaceful transfer of power” from President Donald J. Trump to Joseph Biden Jr.
Defense attorney Sabino Jauregui rejected the idea his client is a terrorist.
"My client is no terrorist," Mr. Jauregui said, instead describing Mr. Tarrio as a "misguided patriot."
Assistant U.S. Attorney Conor Mulroe disagreed, describing Jan. 6 as a "calculated act of terrorism."
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