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U.S. Justice Department Advocates for 33-Year Sentence for Former Proud Boys Chief Enrique Tarrio in January 6 Inquiry

by Gabriel Martinez
10 comments
Enrique Tarrio 33-Year Sentence

According to legal filings, the U.S. Justice Department is recommending a 33-year incarceration for Enrique Tarrio, the erstwhile leader of the Proud Boys, who was found guilty of seditious conspiracy in connection with the attack on the U.S. Capitol. This represents one of the most severe cases emanating from the incident.

Tarrio, a former national chairman of the far-right extremist organization, along with three of his deputies, was convicted by a Washington D.C. jury in May for plotting to obstruct the peaceful transition of presidential authority with the objective of retaining Donald Trump in office after his electoral defeat in 2020.

Although Tarrio was not present during the Capitol riot, he was a principal subject in what has evolved into the largest investigation ever undertaken by the U.S. Justice Department. Tarrio led the group, notorious for its altercations with left-wing protestors, during the period when then-President Trump famously instructed the Proud Boys to “stand back and stand by” in his first debate against Democratic candidate Joe Biden.

Throughout the extensive trial, prosecutors contended that members of the Proud Boys saw themselves as combatants striving for Trump, propagating the baseless claims that the election was illicitly taken from him. They were prepared to engage in conflict to ensure their favored leader remained in office.

Prosecutors stated in a recent filing, “The group mobilized an assault on the Capitol, specifically orchestrated to exert physical force on elected representatives and to nullify the outcome of a lawful election. Far from being heroes, they are offenders.”

Joseph Biggs from Ormond Beach, Florida, also a self-identified organizer for the Proud Boys, faces a 33-year sentence recommendation from the prosecutors as well. Additionally, they have requested 30 years for Zachary Rehl, president of the Philadelphia Proud Boys chapter; 27 years for Ethan Nordean from Auburn, Washington, another chapter president; and 20 years for Dominic Pezzola from Rochester, New York, a member who was found not guilty of seditious conspiracy but convicted on other grave counts.

Tarrio, 39, was absent from Washington D.C. on January 6 due to his arrest two days prior in a different case, leading to his eviction from the capital. Nonetheless, the prosecution maintains that he orchestrated the Proud Boys’ invasion of the Capitol.

Defense lawyers contended there was neither a conspiracy nor a plan to assault the Capitol, portraying the Proud Boys as a disorganized group inspired spontaneously by Trump’s false electoral claims. They argue that the sentences proposed by the prosecution are excessively punitive.

In their appeal for a milder sentence, Tarrio’s legal team emphasized his history of collaboration with law enforcement agencies. Legal documents revealed in 2021 that he had previously served undercover and cooperated in investigations following a 2012 fraud accusation. They also pointed to Tarrio’s deteriorating mental health since his arrest in March 2022, urging the court to consider his community contributions and family support.

Countering the prosecution’s call for a “terrorism enhancement,” defense attorneys asserted that the defendants are not terrorists and deserve some leniency for following what they believed to be a directive from the President.

U.S. District Judge Timothy Kelly will sentence Tarrio and his co-defendants in a series of upcoming hearings in Washington’s federal court. This is the same venue where Donald Trump recently pled not guilty in a separate case alleging efforts to illegally subvert electoral outcomes, a charge he denies.

Tarrio and his lieutenants were additionally found guilty of obstructing Congress’s certification of Biden’s victory, charges that are also pending against Trump.

The article was reported from Boston by Richer.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Enrique Tarrio 33-Year Sentence

What is the U.S. Justice Department recommending for Enrique Tarrio?

The U.S. Justice Department is recommending a 33-year prison sentence for Enrique Tarrio, the former leader of the Proud Boys, who was convicted of seditious conspiracy related to the January 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol.

Who is Enrique Tarrio?

Enrique Tarrio is the erstwhile national chairman of the far-right extremist group known as the Proud Boys. He was convicted in May by a Washington D.C. jury for plotting to obstruct the peaceful transition of presidential authority after the 2020 election.

Was Enrique Tarrio present at the January 6 Capitol attack?

No, Enrique Tarrio was not present at the Capitol on January 6. He was arrested two days prior in a separate case and was ordered to leave Washington D.C.

Who are the co-defendants in this case and what are the recommended sentences for them?

The co-defendants are Joseph Biggs, Zachary Rehl, Ethan Nordean, and Dominic Pezzola. Prosecutors are recommending 33 years for Joseph Biggs, 30 years for Zachary Rehl, 27 years for Ethan Nordean, and 20 years for Dominic Pezzola.

What did the prosecutors argue during the trial?

Prosecutors contended that members of the Proud Boys considered themselves combatants striving to keep Donald Trump in power, influenced by his baseless claims of election fraud. They argued that the group orchestrated a violent attack on the Capitol to exert physical force on elected officials and nullify the outcome of the 2020 election.

What has been the defense’s counter-argument?

Defense attorneys argue there was neither a conspiracy nor a plan to assault the Capitol. They portrayed the Proud Boys as an unorganized group whose actions were spontaneously inspired by Donald Trump’s false claims about the election. They believe the sentences proposed by the prosecution are excessively punitive.

Are there any terrorism enhancements being considered in this case?

Yes, prosecutors are urging for a “terrorism enhancement,” which could lead to longer prison terms. They argue that the Proud Boys sought to influence the government through “intimidation or coercion.”

When and where will the sentencing take place?

The sentencing will be carried out by U.S. District Judge Timothy Kelly in a series of hearings slated to begin later this month in Washington’s federal court.

What are the charges that Enrique Tarrio and his co-defendants were convicted of?

Tarrio and three of his deputies were convicted of seditious conspiracy, obstruction of Congress’s certification of Biden’s victory, and conspiracy to obstruct Congress.

More about Enrique Tarrio 33-Year Sentence

  • U.S. Justice Department’s Official Press Release on Tarrio Case
  • Profile of Enrique Tarrio by a Major News Outlet
  • Timeline of Events Leading up to January 6 Capitol Attack
  • Summary of Legal Proceedings Related to January 6 Cases
  • Explanation of Seditious Conspiracy Charges
  • Overview of Proud Boys Organization and Ideology
  • Donald Trump’s Statements and Role in January 6
  • Compilation of Sentencing Recommendations for January 6 Cases
  • U.S. District Judge Timothy Kelly’s Professional Background
  • Court Filings and Documents Related to Enrique Tarrio’s Case

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10 comments

CivicDuty45 September 5, 2023 - 8:05 pm

Been following this case for a while and I gotta say, it’s been polarizing from day one. Just can’t wait for the final judgement to be out.

Reply
EqualJusticeNow September 6, 2023 - 1:08 am

Tarrio’s defense claiming he cooperated with law enforcement in the past, so what? you do a crime, you do the time.

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RebelThoughts September 6, 2023 - 8:36 am

Where does the line between activism and extremism lie? Just ponderin.

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FinancialGuru101 September 6, 2023 - 9:39 am

Not surprised the justice dept is going all in on this case. They wanna set an example for future incidents, clear as day.

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JohnDoe23 September 6, 2023 - 9:48 am

Wow, 33 years? That’s a long time, but then again, the charges are very serious. seditious conspiracy isn’t a joke.

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PoliticalSavvy September 6, 2023 - 11:12 am

This could set a legal precedent for how we treat political violence in the future. We better pay attention to this case closely.

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LibertyLover September 6, 2023 - 11:50 am

Government is flexing its muscles big time. Scary to see what the state can do if they really come after you.

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FactCheckQueen September 6, 2023 - 12:21 pm

Sentence recommendations are just that, recommendations. Let’s not jump to conclusions until the judge makes the final call.

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LegalEagle September 6, 2023 - 1:22 pm

Lawyers for both sides are gonna have their work cut out for them. This case is like a legal battleground.

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CapitolWatcher September 6, 2023 - 4:55 pm

If Tarrio wasn’t even at the Capitol, how can he be charged like this? confusing to say the least.

Reply

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