Former Proud Boys Chairman Sentenced to 22 Years for Capitol Riot Involvement: Landmark Verdict

On Tuesday, Henry "Enrique" Tarrio, who previously served as the national chairman of the Proud Boys, received a 22-year prison sentence for his involvement in orchestrating a significant gathering during the Capitol riot on January 6th. This sentence stands as the longest among the numerous sentences issued thus far in relation to the attack.

Tarrio, despite not being physically present in Washington on January 6th, has been found guilty of several charges. These include a rare seditious conspiracy charge, conspiracy to obstruct an official proceeding, destruction of government property, and three additional related charges.


According to court filings, Tarrio was arrested and subsequently instructed to depart from Washington a few days before the riot. This action was taken in response to his involvement in burning a Black Lives Matter flag and being in possession of two large-capacity magazines.

During the discussion of Tarrio's sentence, U.S. District Judge Timothy Kelly provided a detailed explanation of the factors he took into account. He particularly highlighted the gravity of the charge of seditious conspiracy, which originated during the Civil War.

Mr. Tarrio assumed the role of the primary leader within the conspiracy. According to Kelly, the statement in question is not highly debatable.

According to Kelly, Tarrio was characterized as an individual with exceptional organizational skills and a strong drive for revolutionary change. Kelly further mentioned that Tarrio successfully recruited approximately 200 individuals who played a significant role in leading the breaches on that particular day.

According to court filings, it was revealed that on January 6th, Tarrio utilized the social media platform Parler to communicate with his numerous followers. In these messages, he provided instructions to those present at the Capitol, urging them not to depart during the takeover. Additionally, Tarrio referred to these individuals as "revolutionaries." Additionally, the individual in question posted a photograph depicting lawmakers seeking refuge within the House chamber. Furthermore, in the aftermath of the riot, they shared messages containing explicit language, such as "I am not denouncing s***" and "f*** the system," both of which were written in capital letters.

In the month of May, Tarrio, along with four other individuals, was convicted for their involvement in a particular case. Among these co-defendants, three of them were also found guilty of seditious conspiracy.

Last week, Kelly imposed significant sentences on four individuals, ranging from 10 to 18 years. This suggests that Tarrio's sentence would also be of similar duration.

Tarrio was originally set to be sentenced on the preceding Wednesday, ahead of his co-defendants. However, Kelly unexpectedly cancelled all of Tarrio's hearings on that day. On the subsequent day, the individual made their way back to the courthouse with the intention of providing further explanation regarding their absence. Specifically, they sought to clarify that their absence was due to illness, as they had called out sick. The order of Tarrio's sentencing hearing was changed, resulting in it being rescheduled to take place last instead of being the first hearing.

In line with his previous calculations during the recent hearings, Kelly made use of a terrorism adjustment when determining Tarrio's sentence. This adjustment was based on Kelly's perception that Tarrio bore some responsibility for the destruction of a fence at the Capitol, which was carried out by his two co-defendants, Joseph Biggs and Zachary Rehl. The fence in question served as a barrier to the Capitol.

According to Kelly, while Tarrio may not have directly destroyed the fence, the jury's determination of his intent on seditious conspiracy justifies the application of this adjustment.

According to Tarrio's attorney, Sabino Jauregui, he asserted that his client should not be labeled as a terrorist. The individual in question, referred to as "my client," holds a strong belief in their country and considers themselves a patriot. However, their actions and beliefs have been deemed misguided, as they believed they were actively working towards the betterment and preservation of their nation and its democratic principles.

It was repeatedly observed by Jauregui that Tarrio was absent on January 6th.

In the concluding statements made by Kelly, the judge acknowledged that Tarrio's decision to be absent during the mentioned incident had certain strategic advantages. The absence allowed Tarrio's subordinates to incite the crowd, which aligned with his objectives. Furthermore, the judge noted that Tarrio's absence also provided him with a level of protection, which he is currently advocating for. The judge regarded this as a shrewd move on Tarrio's part, highlighting his intelligence.

According to Kelly, Tarrio had specifically advised the participants of the riot to come prepared with pepper spray and various other types of equipment. Sabino argued that the gear in question was intended for use by members of the antifa movement, rather than being designed for police officers.

The government prosecutors had requested lengthy sentences for Tarrio and his co-defendants, however, Kelly's ruling was significantly less severe than what the prosecutors had suggested.

During the hearing, Assistant U.S. Attorney Conor Mulroe argued that Tarrio should be sentenced to 33 years, emphasizing that he believed Tarrio's case was unique and required a severe punishment. Mulroe pointed out that Tarrio had a previous conviction unrelated to the current charges, and he urged the judge to consider the long-term implications of the sentencing decision on future elections. Mulroe emphasized the need for the consequences to be abundantly clear, suggesting that a harsher sentence for Tarrio would serve as a deterrent for similar offenses in the future.

According to Mulroe, the riot can be described as a deliberate act of terrorism. However, it is distinct from other acts of terrorism that are typically associated with highly lethal methods, like the 9/11 attacks and the Oklahoma City bombing.

According to Mulroe, the gravity of Mr. Tarrio and his co-defendants' actions should not be undermined, despite the unique nature of the crime. Mulroe emphasized that their actions nearly resulted in a significant constitutional crisis, highlighting the severity of the situation.

The term "revolution" refers to a significant and often violent change in a society or government. In this context, it is being used to describe the actions and goals of Tarrio. Tarrio openly pursued a revolution, aiming to bring about substantial change. It is worth noting that his pursuit of revolution did not involve the use of firearms or explosives. Mulroe, the speaker, concludes by emphasizing the extent to which Tarrio came close to achieving his revolutionary objectives.

Tarrio, who has spent the past two years incarcerated, appeared before the courtroom wearing his standard orange prison attire. He expressed his regret and remorse for his actions.

The individual expressed a deep respect for law enforcement, stating that they had always held them in high regard. However, they admitted to their own shortcomings, acknowledging that they had failed miserably.

Invoking the year 1776 and the Constitution of the United States was deemed to be an erroneous action. The individual expressed their opinion, stating that the situation or action in question was considered to be a perversion.

During his departure from the courtroom, Tarrio made a subtle allusion to his fellow co-defendant, Dominic Pezzola, as well as other individuals who had faced charges. He expressed his intention to refrain from making any vocal outbursts. During a recent court hearing, defendant Pezzola made a statement that garnered attention. After expressing remorse to the judge and being handed down a sentence, Pezzola exclaimed, "Trump won!"

Tarrio, a 39-year-old individual, expressed that his time spent in prison had negatively impacted his mental well-being. He highlighted the challenging circumstances he faced during the past two years, which involved being constantly on the move or enduring periods of isolation in solitary confinement.


Tarrio expressed his request for the preservation of his 40s, emphasizing his commitment to personal growth during his time in prison. He mentioned enrolling in available classes and shared his aspirations of finding love again and pursuing a career in construction. In addition, the attorney representing Tarrio made a formal request for his client to be considered for participation in the programs offered under the First Step Act.

Prior to Kelly delivering his sentence, his mother, sister, and fiancee took the opportunity to address the court. Overwhelmed with emotion, their heartfelt pleas for a lenient sentence were accompanied by tears. Biggs was sentenced to 17 years, Rehl to 15 years, and Pezzola to 10 years. The fourth co-defendant in the case, Ethan Nordean, has been handed a sentence of 18 years.


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