Two former leaders of the Proud Boys, Joseph Biggs and Zachary Rehl, were sentenced to 17 years and
15 years respectively in prison for seditious conspiracy and other crimes committed during the riot more than two years ago. Biggs, a former service member of the military, helped to lead the Proud Boys’ efforts to seize the U.S. Capitol in 2021. Rehl was also a veteran and a leader in the Philadelphia chapter of Proud Boys. Judge Timothy J. Kelly sentenced Biggs, a former military service member, to three years’ supervision and banned him from interacting with any organizations that advocate violence towards the government. Kelly, in sentencing Rehl, said that he, Biggs, and others were involved in “a national shame” which contributed to the destruction of America’s traditional peaceful transfer of power. The sentence is much less than the 33-year sentence sought by the prosecutors for Biggs, and 30 years for Rehl. Both penalties are below the 18-year sentence given to Oath Keepers’ founder Stewart Rhodes for his separate conviction of seditious conspiracies for his actions in Jan. Dominic Pezzola was found not guilty of seditious conspiracies but guilty of assaulting officers, resisting them, or obstructing them, and robbery of government property. The prosecution wanted to use a “terrorism enhanced” sentence, which would have led to a longer prison term. Judge Kelly decided to use this enhancement in relation to Biggs and Rehl, who were charged with their involvement in the destruction of the fence around the U.S. Capitol Building. This fence, once removed, had no more effect on keeping the mob away from the law enforcement officers protecting the building. But Kelly stated that he did not believe Biggs or Rehl intended to kill anyone, and they had no motive to incite mass deaths. Kelly said that in both hearings he “was not trying to minimize violence” that occurred that day. However, he did have to compare sentences for other defendants who were charged on Jan. 6, in other cases in order to avoid large differences. Kelly stated that there was “no doubt” a lot of violence on the day in question. It’s a miracle that there weren’t more deaths. Biggs and Rehl are the first two of five defendants in the Proud Boys case from Jan. 6, 2010 to receive a sentence. Their punishments show what the other three co-defendants they were convicted along with may face. Pezzolla’s sentencing will take place on Friday. Originally scheduled for Wednesday but delayed due to Kelly’s illness, the sentencing hearings of Tarrio, Nordean and Pezzola have been rescheduled for Friday. Biggs claims he was “seduced” by the mob in Jan. 6
Before he received his sentence, Biggs pleaded for forgiveness and leniency. He downplayed his role in the Jan. 6 riots and said that day was set to be the last event he planned to do with the Proud Boys as he had plans to step back from the organization.
“I was seduced by the crowd,” Biggs said of the mob in front of the U.S. Capitol. “I will regret it for the rest my life. I was seduced by curiosity.” “
Biggs wept as he pleaded with Kelly to give him the opportunity to be there for his daughter, who he claimed was molested and now under his mother’s care. “I am sure I will be punished but please allow me to take my child to school for one day. “
Rehl says in an emotional address that he’s ‘done selling lies’
Zachary Rehl, a member of the Proud Boys, walks towards the U.S. Capitol building in Washington in support for President Donald Trump in January 2021.
Proud Boy Zach Rehl, a member of the U.S. Capitol’s Proud Boys group, walks towards it in Washington to support President Donald Trump. This was on January 6, 2020.
Rehl portrayed himself as a man of the family during his trial. He denied repeatedly assaulting police officers even when confronted by video footage of him spraying chemicals on officers. Rehl’s speech in court was filled with emotion. Rehl claimed he had lost his military benefits, professional licenses and other things he worked hard for. And he said he was done politics. “I’m done,” he declared. “I’m tired of telling lies to people who don’t even care about me. “
He went on to say, “I am sorry for all that happened. The 6th of January was a terrible day. I made mistakes that I regret. I caused my family to suffer. “