Updated Sep 6, 2023 - Politics & Policy

Ex-Proud Boys leader Enrique Tarrio sentenced to 22 years in Jan. 6 case

Enrique Tarrio, leader of The Proud Boys

Enrique Tarrio attends a protest showing in Miami in July 2021. Photo: Eva Marie Uzcategui/AFP via Getty Images

Henry "Enrique" Tarrio, former leader of the right-wing extremist group Proud Boys, was sentenced on Wednesday to 22 years in prison for his role in the deadly Jan. 6 Capitol insurrection.

Why it matters: Tarrio's sentencing caps one of the highest-profile prosecutions related to the Capitol riot, and his is the longest sentence handed down in the Jan. 6 cases.

  • The previous highest sentencing record related to Jan. 6 was held by Oath Keepers founder Stewart Rhodes, who was sentenced to 18 years in prison in May.

Flashback: Tarrio was found guilty in May of seditious conspiracy related to Jan. 6, alongside other Proud Boys members. Prosecutors had sought a 33-year sentence for him.

  • Tarrio wasn't at the Jan. 6 Capitol Riot because he was arrested days earlier for vandalizing a Black Lives Matter banner at a historic Black church in D.C. in 2020.
  • However, prosecutors have argued that Tarrio maintained command over Proud Boys members after his arrest and cheered on the group as its members stormed the Capitol.
  • Prosecutors also noted Tarrio took credit for the riot on behalf of the group.

What they're saying: "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," said Matthew Graves, U.S. Attorney for the District of Columbia, in a statement.

  • "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."

Zoom out: The Justice Department said in the spring that more than 1,030 people have been charged in connection to Jan. 6 in the roughly two years since the attack, and around 570 have pleaded guilty.

The big picture: Two other former Proud Boy leaders also received lengthy sentences last week for their actions on and around Jan. 6.

  • Joseph Biggs was sentenced to 17 years in prison last week, while Zachary Rehl received 15 years in prison.

Go deeper: Here are the harshest punishments yet for Jan. 6 rioters

Editor's note: This article has been updated with comment from Matthew Graves, U.S. Attorney for the District of Columbia.

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