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    Allways With You

    Prosecutors ask for 33 years in prison for ex-Proud Boys leader Tarrio


    Sep 6, 2023

    WASHINGTON — Former Proud Boys Chairman Enrique Tarrio is being sentenced by a federal judge Tuesday for leading a failed plot to forcibly prevent the peaceful transfer of power from then-President Donald Trump to Joe Biden after the 2020 election.

    Prosecutors are seeking a 33-year prison sentence for Tarrio which, if given, would be the longest sentence related to the Jan. 6, 2021, US Capitol attack.

    Tarrio was arrested in Washington, DC, days before the riot for burning a DC church’s Black Lives Matter banner and bringing high-capacity rifle magazines into the district, and was ordered by a judge to leave the city.

    Tarrio is the last of five Proud Boys defendants to be sentenced. He and three other members of the Proud Boys leadership were found guilty of seditious conspiracy. A fifth member was acquitted of the seditious conspiracy charge but was found guilty of a range of other charges.

    District Judge Timothy Kelly has consistently gone far below previous Justice Department sentencing requests for Proud Boys members convicted in this case.

    Kelly sentenced Ethan Nordean and Joseph Biggs, two of the far-right organization’s top lieutenants, to 18- and 17-year prison sentences, respectively.

    Zachary Rehl, a local Proud Boys chapter leader, was sentenced to 15 years behind bars, while Dominic Pezzola, a low-level member and the only defendant acquitted of the seditious conspiracy charge, was sentenced to 10 years in prison.

    Prosecutor Conor Mulroe slammed Tarrio, saying that the Proud Boys leader had a “toxic ability to control others” and was the “leader of this conspiracy” that “targeted our entire system of government.”

    Mulroe described Tarrio as someone with a “toxic ability to control others” who “increased his own fame and stature by fanning the flame of violence, political violence.”

    “These are men who would never strap a bomb to their chest or sign up for a training camp, but they are thrilled by the notion of traveling from city to city and beating their adversaries senseless in a street fight,” Mulroe said.

    The Proud Boys organization, led by Tarrio, “were not just a drop in the bucket” when it comes to the violence on Jan. 6, Mulroe said. The group “had an integral role in that first breach” at the Capitol, Mulroe said.

    “The actions of that group were absolutely pivotal on Jan. 6 and followed directly the plotting and planning of Enrique Tarrio.”

    Tarrio’s lawyer Sabino Jauregui fiercely fought additional terrorism sentencing penalties Tuesday, saying that “it was not his intention to bring down the United States government, or overthrow the United States government.”

    “My client is no terrorist,” Jauregui said. “My client is a misguided patriot. That’s what my client is. This is not some foreign national waging war against the United States – he thought he was saving this country, saving this republic.”

    During the months-long trial, prosecutors showed evidence that Tarrio helped to create a command structure within the Proud Boys in the lead up to Jan. 6 that dictated how members of the organization would work when attending high-profile rallies.

    Though he was not in Washington, DC, on Jan. 6, Tarrio expressed his support for the rioters online and was in touch with his co-defendants on the ground, prosecutors said.

    Biggs and Nordean, who assumed leadership in Tarrio’s absence, led the charge at the Capitol, prosecutors said.

    The Proud Boys were at the front of the mob, breaking past barriers and the police line and smashing windows to let rioters inside the historic building in the first breaches that eventually led to Congress evacuating and temporarily halting the certification of the 2020 presidential election results. — CNN

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