Enrique Tarrio, ‘savvy propagandist’ for Proud Boys, set to be sentenced in Jan. 6 sedition case

WASHINGTON — Enrique Tarrio, the former chairman of the far-right Proud Boys, will be sentenced Tuesday afternoon following his conviction on a seditious conspiracy charge in connection with the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol.

Tarrio was one of four Proud Boys found guilty of seditious conspiracy in May. Federal prosecutors are seeking a sentence of 33 years in federal prison, although U.S. District Judge Timothy Kelly sentenced Tarrio’s co-defendants to much lower terms than those sought by prosectors.

Last week, Joe Biggs was sentenced to 17 years; Zachary Rehl to 15 years; and Ethan Nordean to 18 years, tying with Oath Keepers founder Stewart Rhodes for the longest sentence given to a Jan. 6 defendant so far. Proud Boy Dominic Pezzola, the fifth defendant in the seditious conspiracy trial, was found not guilty of the top charge of seditious conspiracy but found guilty on other charges; he was sentenced to 10 years.

Federal prosecutors called Tarrio a “naturally charismatic leader, a savvy propagandist, and the celebrity Chairman of the national Proud Boys organization.” Tarrio, they said, had “influence over countless subordinate members” that he used “to organize and execute the conspiracy to forcibly stop the peaceful democratic transfer of power.”

Tarrio was not present at the Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021; he was arrested about 48 hours ahead of the attack due to his actions at a prior pro-Donald Trump event in Washington, D.C. Tarrio knew there was a warrant out for his arrest thanks to a Washington, D.C., police lieutenant who has since been charged and pleaded not guilty. Prosecutors said the evidence suggests Tarrio “strategically calculated his arrest as a means to inspire a reaction by his followers.”

That Tarrio spent most of Jan. 6 at a hotel in Baltimore, prosecutors said, “does nothing to detract from the severity of his conduct” because he “was a general rather than a soldier.”

Tarrio, prosecutors said, is “intelligent, charming, creative, and articulate — a gifted communicator who excels at attracting followers” who “used those talents to inflame and radicalize untold numbers of followers, promoting political violence in general and orchestrating the charged conspiracies in particular.”

They argued for a terrorism sentencing enhancement in his case, saying his actions were clearly intended to influence the government.

“To Tarrio, January 6 was an act of revolution,” prosecutors wrote.

Tarrio’s defense team argued for a downward departure from the sentencing guidelines and submitted letters of support to the court, including one from Tarrio’s cousin, who has worked for Miami police for 16 years.

About 1,100 people have been charged in connection with the Jan. 6 Capitol attack, and more than 300 have been sentenced to periods of incarceration. New arrests continue to happen each week, including the recent arrests of the first person who is seen on video breaching the lower west tunnel at the Capitol and another defendant who the FBI said stormed the Capitol and filmed a TikTok in which he bragged rioters “took the White House.”

This article was originally published on NBCNews.com

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