Henry “Enrique” Tarrio, leader of The Proud Boys, attends a protest showing support for Cubans demonstrating against their government, in Miami, Florida on July 16, 2021.
Eva Marie Uzcategui | AFP | Getty Images
The former leader of the far-right group Proud Boys is set to be sentenced Tuesday after being convicted of a seditious conspiracy to disrupt the 2020 presidential election certification on Jan. 6, 2021.
The Department of Justice is seeking 33 years in prison for Enrique Tarrio — a sentence that, if delivered, would put him behind bars for far longer than any other person charged in connection with the Capitol riot made up of supporters of former President Donald Trump.
Tarrio’s sentencing hearing in U.S. District Court in Washington, D.C., is scheduled for 2 p.m. ET.
Judge Timothy Kelly last week delivered lower sentences than what prosecutors requested for Tarrio’s co-defendants, three of whom were also convicted of seditious conspiracy.
But they hardly got off scot-free. Ethan Nordean, who led the Seattle chapter of the Proud Boys, on Friday was sentenced to 18 years in prison, tying him with Oath Keepers founder Stewart Rhodes for the longest Jan. 6-related sentence yet.
Earlier that day, Dominic Pezzola, another defendant in the case, received a 10-year sentence. As he was led out of the courtroom at the end of the hearing, Pezzola reportedly raised his fist and yelled, “Trump won!”
Two other Proud Boys leaders were sentenced a day earlier. Joseph Biggs, a far-right commentator, got 17 years in prison, while Proud Boys’ Philadelphia chapter president Zachary Rehl was sentenced to 15 years behind bars.
The DOJ had sought 27 years in prison for Nordean; 33 years for Biggs; 30 years for Rehl; and 20 years for Pezzola. Of those five, Pezzola was the only defendant who was not found guilty of seditious conspiracy.
A sixth defendant in the Proud Boys case, Charles Donohoe, pleaded guilty in April 2022 to charges of conspiracy and assaulting officers.
The DOJ has charged more than 1,100 defendants in relation to the Jan. 6 Capitol riot. But Tarrio and his co-defendants played a “central role” in “setting into motion the unlawful events of that day,” Attorney General Merrick Garland said after they were found guilty in May.
The defendants were convicted of directing a large group of Proud Boys and other pro-Trump rioters to storm the Capitol grounds on Jan. 6, when Congress had convened to confirm President Joe Biden’s victory over Trump in the 2020 election.
Trump, who falsely claimed he beat Biden, spent the aftermath of the election challenging the results and spreading unfounded conspiracy theories about widespread election fraud. At a rally in D.C. on the morning of Jan. 6, he urged a crowd of his supporters to march to the Capitol and “fight like hell” to pressure GOP congressmen and then-Vice President Mike Pence to reject the electoral votes.
The former president, who is now the top contender for the 2024 Republican presidential nomination, has been charged in two separate cases with crimes related to his allegedly unlawful efforts to overturn the 2020 election. He has pleaded not guilty.
Tarrio and Nordean were initially set to be sentenced last Wednesday, but their hearings were postponed after Kelly abruptly called out sick.
This is developing news. Please check back for updates.