Enrique Tarrio, the former national chairman of the Proud Boys, was sentenced to 22 years in prison Tuesday for his role in the U.S. Capitol riot on Jan. 6, 2021.
That’s the longest sentence given to any Jan. 6 defendant.
Tarrio was convicted of seditious conspiracy along with three other members of the far-right group. Prosecutors said they plotted to reverse former President Donald Trump’s 2020 election loss and prevent the peaceful transfer of power.
Federal prosecutors, who sought a 33-year prison sentence for Tarrio, used the rare charge of seditious conspiracy to secure a conviction in the case. They said Tarrio and the other members “directed, mobilized, and led a group of Proud Boys and other members of the crowd onto the Capitol grounds” on Jan. 6.
Prosecutors called Tarrio “a savvy propagandist, and the celebrity Chairman of the national Proud Boys organization” who had influence over “countless” subordinates.
The judge applied the terrorism enhancement to Tarrio’s sentence on Tuesday, adding several more years. Tarrio’s lawyer said his client is not a terrorist, but “a misguided patriot.”
Before handing down the sentence, U.S. District Judge Timothy Kelly said Jan. 6 “broke our previously unbroken tradition of peacefully transferring power” adding “it’s going to take time and effort to fix it.”
Tarrio was found guilty of other charges including obstruction of an official proceeding, conspiracy to prevent Members of Congress and federal law enforcement officers from discharging their duties, civil disorder, and destruction of government property.
Since Jan. 6, over 1,000 people have been arrested for crimes related to the Capitol riot.