Ex-Proud Boy Leader Enrique Tarrio Sentenced to 22 years for Jan. 6 Riot Role

Trump supporters stormed the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021. Photo via Shutterstock.

By Steve Neavling

Former leader of the neo-fascist group Proud Boys Enrique Tarrio on Tuesday received the longest sentence handed down as a result of the U.S. Capitol riot on Jan. 6, 2021. 

Tarrio was sentenced to 22 years in prison after being convicted of seditious conspiracy and obstructing the congressional proceeding to confirm the 2020 election results. 

The 39-year-old was the last of five Proud Boys to be sentenced following a 15-week trial in May in which all of them were convicted. 

Prosecutors said the five men orchestrated a plot to keep President Donald Trump in power after he lost the election. 

Before sentencing, Tarrio called the riot a “national embarrassment” and apologized to the officers who tried to protect the Capitol, the Associated Press reports

“I am not a political zealot. Inflicting harm or changing the results of the election was not my goal,” Tarrio said. “Please show me mercy,” he said, adding, “I ask you that you not take my 40s from me.”

U.S. District Judge Timothy Kelly, who was appointed by Trump, described Tarrio as “the ultimate leader” who “was motivated by revolutionary zeal.”

In a written statement, FBI Director Christopher Wray said the sentence “demonstrates that those who attempted to undermine the workings of American democracy will be held criminally accountable.”

“The FBI will always protect those who peacefully exercise their First Amendment rights,” Wray said. But we will never condone the actions of those who break our laws, and we will continue to work with federal prosecutors to ensure those perpetrators are held responsible.”

Attorney General Merrick Garland said democracy was under attack on Jan. 6. 

“On January 6th, 2021, the United States Capitol was attacked, 140 law enforcement officers defending those inside were assaulted, and the peaceful transfer of power to a newly elected government – a cornerstone of our democracy – was interrupted,” Garland said. “The Justice Department proved in court that the Proud Boys played a central role in setting the January 6th attack on our Capitol into motion. Over the past week, four members of the Proud Boys received sentences that reflect the danger their crimes pose to our democracy. Today, the leader of the Proud Boys, Enrique Tarrio, learned that the consequence of conspiring to oppose by force the lawful transfer of presidential power is 22 years in federal prison.”

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