Enrique Tarrio the former leader of the The Proud Boys, a mysterious right-wing men-only grouping, has been jailed for 22 years for orchestrating the attack on the US Capitol on 6 January 2021.
It is the longest sentence handed down so far over the attack, which happened on Capitol Hill as lawmakers were certifying President Joe Biden’s 2020 election victory.
Tarrio, 39, was not in Washington during the riot, but helped organise the far-right group’s involvement.
As he was led from court, he flashed the two-fingered peace or victory sign.
Tarrio is of Afro-Cuban descent and was born in Miami. He served a prison sentence for stealing and rebranding diabetic testing strips, and after his release from prison was active as a police informant in several cases.
The Department of Justice’s sprawling investigation into the riot has so far seen more than 1,100 people arrested and charged.
The rioters turned out in support of then-president Donald Trump, who continues to deny that he lost the 2020 election. He has promised to pardon most or all of the rioters if he is re-elected president in 2024.
Tarrio was convicted in May of seditious conspiracy, a rarely used charge of planning to overthrow the government, and multiple other counts. He has been in jail since his arrest last year.
In their sentencing recommendation, prosecutors described Tarrio as a “naturally charismatic leader” and “a savvy propagandist” who was the “primary organiser” of the conspiracy he and his co-defendants were convicted of.
They also said he condoned and promoted violence from others. “He was a general rather than a soldier,” prosecutors wrote.
They argued he helped rally members of the far-right group to come to Washington DC and, while he was not in the city at the time, prosecutors said he monitored their movements and encouraged them as the attack unfolded.
As Trump supporters laid siege to the congressional complex, Tarrio posted online that he was “enjoying the show”.
“Do what must be done,” he wrote, urging on the rioters.
“Tarrio was the ultimate leader, the ultimate person who organised, who was motivated by revolutionary zeal,” Judge Kelly said. “I don’t have any indication that he is remorseful for the actual things that he was convicted of.”
Source: BBC. News agencies.