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Updated May 4, 2023, 11:54am EDT
politicsNorth America

Four members of Proud Boys far-right group found guilty of seditious conspiracy over Jan. 6 riot

Proud Boys
REUTERS/Jim Urquhart
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The News

Four members of the far-right Proud Boys group, including their high-profile leader Enrique Tarrio, were found guilty on Thursday for their role in the Jan. 6, 2021 attack on the U.S. Capitol.

Tarrio, along with Joseph Biggs, Zachary Rehl, and Ethan Nordean were found guilty of seditious conspiracy. A jury was unable to reach a conspiracy verdict for the fifth defendant, Dominic Pezzola, but found him guilty of several other charges.

The jury was subsequently tasked with resuming deliberations on the conspiracy charge for Pezzola.

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While the jury could not reach a verdict for Pezzola’s role in conspiracy, he and the other defendants were all found guilty of actual obstruction of Congress.

The defendants were found guilty of several other charges, including robbery, destruction of government property, and tampering with evidence.

The seditious conspiracy alone carries a sentence of up to 20 years in prison.

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Prosecutors in court said the Proud Boys saw the election of U.S. President Joe Biden as a threat to the country, with members messaging one another about the need for “war” and “revolution.”

Evidence presented during the trial showed the defendants were not at the rally led by former U.S. President Donald Trump but instead were among the first to walk toward the Capitol. Prosecutors said they were at the front lines of the mob when the initial barrier was breached.

Pezzola was also the man that used a police riot shield to break a window of the building allowing rioters to burst inside, prosecutors said.

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Their attorneys said the defendants never had plans to storm the Capitol and overturn the Electoral College results, and that their messages among one another were vulgar and reckless but not evidence of an attempt to overthrow the government.

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