DOJ seeks 33-year prison sentence for Enrique Tarrio

August 18, 2023

The Department of Justice on Thursday requested a 33-year prison sentence against former Proud Boys chair Henry “Enrique” Tarrio for his role in the deadly January 6, 2021 insurrection on the U.S. Capitol.

Tarrio, along with fellow former Proud Boys Joe Biggs, Ethan Nordean and Zachary Rehl, were convicted of seditious conspiracy in May after a months-long trial that began in January. 

The DOJ is also requesting a 33-year sentence for Biggs along with 30 years for Rehl and 27 years for Nordean.

Prosecutors are further requesting a 20-year sentence for another former Proud Boys member, Dominic Pezzola, who was not found guilty of seditious conspiracy but was convicted of other serious crimes. 

All five defendants were found guilty of obstructing the 2020 Electoral College vote, which carries an up-to five years prison sentence, along with destruction of government property.

In their closing arguments on April 24, the prosecution had argued that the defendants—whom they called “Trump’s army”—stirred fellow Proud Boys toward violence in the lead up to January 6 and directed them that day to attack the U.S. Capitol building.

In their filing Thursday, DOJ prosecutors wrote that Tarrio and his co-defendants “unleashed a force on the Capitol that was calculated to exert their political will on elected officials by force and to undo the results of a democratic election.”

The prosecutors added, “The foot soldiers of the right aimed to keep their leader in power. They failed. They are not heroes; they are criminals.”

Seditious conspiracy is defined as attempting to “overthrow, put down or to destroy by force the government of the United States.” It had been rarely prosecuted before the January 6 insurrection.

If U.S. District Judge Timothy Kelly agrees to a 33-year sentence for either Tarrio or Biggs, it would be the longest sentence imposed on anyone convicted in the January 6 insurrection.

According to the DOJ, more than 1,069 people have been arrested related to the deadly January 6 assault on the U.S. Capitol. A reported more than 500 of them have been sentenced, with more than half receiving prison terms ranging from a week to over 14 years.

Four people died during the insurrection, and five police officers died of various causes following the attack.

PHOTO: Enrique Tarrio in 2020, per Anthony Crider 

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