Henry “Enrique” Tarrio, former leader of the right-wing extremist group Proud Boys, has been sentenced to 22 years in prison for his involvement in the Jan. 6th Capitol insurrection.
Tarrio was found guilty in May of seditious conspiracy related to the events of Jan. 6th, along with several other members of the Proud Boys.
Prosecutors had originally sought a 33-year sentence for him.
Although Tarrio was not present at the Jan. 6th Capitol riot due to his earlier arrest for vandalizing a Black Lives Matter banner at a historic Black church in Washington, D.C., in 2020, prosecutors successfully argued that Tarrio encouraged Proud Boys members to storm the Capitol.
Matthew Graves, the U.S. Attorney for the District of Columbia, stressed the role the Proud Boys played in the events of Jan. 6, stating, “No organization put more boots on the ground at the Capitol on January 6, 2021, than the Proud Boys, and they were at the forefront of every major breach of the Capitol’s defenses, leading the on-the-ground efforts to storm the seat of government.”
According to the Justice Department, over 1,030 individuals have been charged in connection to the Capitol attack in the roughly two years since the insurrection, and approximately 570 have pleaded guilty, Axios reported.
“The leaders of the Proud Boys and the leaders of the Oath Keepers, who conspired before, during, and after the siege of the Capitol to use force against their own government to prevent the peaceful transfer of power, have now been held accountable.”
It was also revealed that Proud Boys leader Tarrio was an FBI informant and that he worked undercover for the Federal Bureau of Investigation after an arrest in 2012, according to a former prosecutor and a transcript of a 2014 federal court proceeding obtained by Reuters.
Political commentator and journalist Michael Tracey tweeted, “You’d think it would be slightly more emphasized that the person the government just put in prison for 22 years — as purported mastermind of the Jan 6 terrorist sedition conspiracy, was himself a ‘prolific’ FBI collaborator and ‘key’ undercover asset in numerous investigations.” Along with his post he included a screenshot of documentation of Tarrio’s history as an informant,
In the 2014 Miami hearing, a federal prosecutor, a FBI agent and Tarrio’s own lawyer described his undercover work and said he had helped authorities prosecute more than a dozen people in various cases involving drugs, gambling and human smuggling, The Guardian reported.
Tarrio, in an interview with Reuters, denied working undercover or cooperating in cases against others.
“I don’t know any of this,’” he said, when asked about the transcript. “I don’t recall any of this.”
Proud Boys chairman Enrique Tarrio rallies in Portland, Ore., Aug. 17, 2019. (AP Photo/Noah Berger, File)