WASHINGTON — Federal prosecutors are seeking sentences of 27 to 33 years in federal prison in the cases of four Proud Boys found guilty of seditious conspiracy for their actions during the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol, as well as 20 years for a fifth Proud Boy found guilty on other charges.
Enrique Tarrio, Joseph Biggs, Ethan Nordean and Zachary Rehl were all convicted of seditious conspiracy in May after a monthslong trial that began in January. A fifth defendant, Dominic Pezzola, was acquitted of the seditious conspiracy charge but found guilty of assaulting, resisting or impeding certain officers. Pezzola smashed a Capitol window with a stolen police shield, leading the first breach of the building.
Prosecutors are seeking 33 years in federal prison for Tarrio and Biggs, 30 years for Rehl, 27 years for Nordean and 20 years for Pezzola.
Sentencing hearings are set for the week of Aug. 28, which is also when a federal judge in Washington will set the trial date for Donald Trump’s election interference trial.
Prosecutors said that the Proud Boys were guilty of crimes of terrorism and that it was important that their sentences “be noted by those who would foment such political violence in the future.” The justice system’s response to the violence on Jan. 6, 2021, “will impact whether January 6 becomes an outlier or a watershed moment,” prosecutors wrote.
“The defendants understood the stakes, and they embraced their role in bringing about a ‘revolution.’ They 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 foot soldiers of the right aimed to keep their leader in power,” prosecutors wrote. “They failed. They are not heroes; they are criminals.”
The head of the Oath Keepers, Stewart Rhodes, is serving the longest Jan. 6 sentence to date: 18 years in federal prison. Federal prosecutors had sought 25 years. Rhodes was “an ongoing threat and a peril to this country and to the republic and to the very fabric of this democracy,” U.S. District Judge Amit Mehta said at his sentencing.
In a court filing late Thursday, prosecutors called Tarrio a “naturally charismatic leader, a savvy propagandist, and the celebrity Chairman of the national Proud Boys organization” who “had influence over countless subordinate members of his group and members of the general public.”
“Tarrio continues to possess the same motive (a belief the government is illegitimately infringing his rights) and the same means (massive popular influence, including over those willing to embrace political violence) that led to the offenses of conviction. For the sake of specific deterrence, and to limit his ability to recruit and direct followers, a significant sentence is necessary,” they wrote.
This article was originally published on NBCNews.com