A judge sentenced former Proud Boys chair Enrique Tarrio to 22 years on Tuesday afternoon for his role in the Jan. 6 Capitol attack. His is the longest sentence awarded in a Jan. 6 criminal case so far.
Tarrio was convicted of seditious conspiracy along with three fellow Proud Boys in May. During a four-month trial, a jury heard that Tarrio was a ringleader in an organized plot to sow chaos on Jan. 6. Although Tarrio was not physically present at the Capitol riots (he’d been arrested days earlier on gun charges), he helped plan the attack and sent directions to Proud Boys via a group chat, prosecutors showed.
Prosecutors asked for 33 years in prison for Tarrio. Judge Tim Kelly awarded 22 years in prison with 36 months supervised release, a sentence that included a terrorism enhancement. Kelly, who noted that the enhancement can be applied in instances when a crime was “calculated to influence or affect the conduct of government by intimidation or coercion,” said that the enhancement was not even a “close call” for Tarrio.
During a Tuesday court appearance, Tarrio’s lawyers argued that he could not have reasonably predicted that the day would turn to a riot. Judge Tim Kelly noted that the attorneys had already made that argument to the jury, unsuccessfully. Kelly also noted that Tarrio was at the top of the Proud Boys’ chain of command on Jan. 6, pointing to a message in which Tarrio ordered followers “don’t fucking leave.”
Tarrio’s defense also claimed that he had “always been pro-law enforcement,” and that the Proud Boys’ Jan. 6 battle gear—like pepper spray and helmets—were intended to fight anti-fascists, not police.
Fellow Proud Boys Joe Biggs and Ethan Nordean were sentenced to 17 and 18 years last week, respectively. Proud Boy Zachary Rehl received a 15-year sentence on seditious conspiracy charges while Dominic Pezzola, a Proud Boy who smashed a Capitol window at the beginning of the attack, was convicted of some offenses but acquitted of seditious conspiracy.
Five members of the far-right group the Oath Keepers were also convicted of seditious conspiracy for their roles in the Capitol attack.
In an interview with InfoWars (where he’d previously worked as a cameraman) last week, Biggs told host Alex Jones that he believed Donald Trump would pardon him, if reelected.