Justice Department to Appeal Sentences of 5 Proud Boys in Jan. 6 Cases

Trump supporters stormed the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday. Photo via Shutterstock.

By Steve Neavling

The Justice Department is seeking higher sentences for five members of the far-right Proud Boys group, including the leader, who were convicted in the Jan. 6 attack at the U.S. Capitol. 

The department is appealing the sentences, arguing the men should have gotten stiffer prison sentences, The Washington Post reports

While the men received some of the strongest penalties stemming from the riot, the sentences fell far below those recommended by the federal sentencing guidelines. 

The leader Enrique Tarrio and members Ethan Nordean, Joseph Biggs and Zachary Rehl were convicted of seditious conspiracy, and Dominic Pezzola was found guilty of other charges. 

The Justice Department previously appealed the sentences imposed on another far-right militia group, the Oath Keepers. 

In Tarrio’s case, prosecutors sought 33 years in prison. He was sentenced to 22 years. 

It has not been unusual for judges to sentence Jan. 6 defendants below the calculated guideline range. In fact, nearly 60 percent of the felony cases were below the guidelines, and 80 percent were less than the sentences recommended by prosecutors. 

Sentencing guidelines, which combine a defendant’s criminal history and the seriousness of the offense, are only advisory. 

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