Proud Boys leader, Enrique Tarrio, and four of his lieutenants have been charged with incendiary conspiracy to conduct a coordinated attack on the United States Capitol to prevent Congress from certifying President Joe Biden’s 2020 election victory, authorities said Monday.
Tarrio, the president of the Proud Boys, and the four others were previously charged with various conspiracy charges.
These are the most serious charges leveled against Tarrio and the right-wing group to date.
Tarrio did not participate in the January 6, 2021 riots at the Capitol, but is said to have orchestrated the activities from a “command and control” structure within the fringe group.
Police arrested Tarrio two days before the Washington riots and charged him with vandalizing a Black Lives Matter banner at a historic black church during a protest in December 2020.
Proud Boys leader Enrique Tarrio pretended to be holding a lighter at the Capitol before turning himself in to a Washington DC prison in December 2020 to begin a five-month sentence
Tarrio was also bitten before his sentence while giving a v-sign near the Capitol on Monday night
Tarrio posed with his Proud Boy friend and a rooster decoration before starting his sentence
Before the riots, the chairman of the Proud Boys created a subgroup called the Ministry of Self-Defense, or MOSD, that would be responsible for “national rally planning,” according to a federal detention memo.
Tarrio was released from prison on January 5 after serving his five-month sentence for that case.
He was ordered to leave DC, but instead went to an underground parking garage where he met a documentary film crew, other Proud Boys, and Elmer Stewart Rhodes III, the founder of the Oath Keepers, another far-right group represented in the riots. .
“We did this,” the federal government says, after the riots began, Tarrio texted one of his allies.
The new riot-related charges against Proud Boys members are among the most serious yet filed, but they are not the first of their kind.
Eleven members or associates of the anti-government militia group Oath Keepers, including Rhodes, were charged in January with seditious conspiracy to attack the Capitol.
Tarrio, pictured in Portland in September 2020, has been the leader of the Proud Boys since 2018
Tarrio, pictured in black holding a megaphone, took to the streets of Portland to protest the behavior of far-left group Antifa in the city of Oregon
“On Jan. 6, Tarrio’s men — the leaders and members of the MOSD — stood at the forefront of the crowd that unlawfully entered the Capitol grounds and overrun police lines designed to protect the Capitol and its residents,” federal prosecutors said. .
Co-conspirator Dominic Pezzola was the first person to physically breach the Capitol when he used a stolen Capitol Police riot shield to break a window next to the Senate wing door, forcing the first members of the crowd to enter the Capitol’s interior. were able to break through at 2.13 pm’
Tarrio’s attorney Sabino Jauregui did not immediately respond to calls for comment.
More than three dozen people accused of the siege of the Capitol have been identified by federal authorities as leaders, members or associates of Proud Boys.
A New York man pleaded guilty in December to storming the United States Capitol with fellow members of Proud Boys.
Several proud boys also entered the Capitol itself after the mob smashed windows and forced doors
On the morning of January 6, Proud Boys members met at the Washington Monument and marched toward the Capitol before President Donald Trump finished speaking to thousands of supporters near the White House.
Matthew Greene was the first Proud Boys member to publicly plead guilty to conspiring with other members to prevent Congress from certifying the Electoral College vote.
Greene agreed to cooperate with authorities.
On the morning of January 6, Proud Boys members met at the Washington Monument and marched to the Capitol before then-President Donald Trump finished speaking to thousands of supporters near the White House.
Just before Congress convened a joint session to confirm the election results, a group of Proud Boys followed a crowd of people breaking through the barriers at a pedestrian entrance to the Capitol, an indictment said.
Several Proud Boys also entered the Capitol itself after the mob smashed windows and forced doors.
WHO ARE THE PROUD BOYS?
Vice Media co-founder Gavin McInnes started the all-male Proud Boys in 2016. McInnes and the Proud Boys have described the group as a politically incorrect men’s club for “Western chauvinists” and deny ties to far-right extremist groups that are openly racist and anti-Semitic. views.
The Southern Poverty Law Center, based in Alabama, labeled the Proud Boys a hate group and said its members often spread “outright bigotry” and “anti-Islamic and misogynistic rhetoric” over the Internet, and posted photos of themselves on social media using prominent Holocaust deniers, white nationalists and ‘known neo-Nazis’.
Current national leader of the Proud Boys, Enrique Tarrio, marched in the infamous Charlottesville Unite the Right rally in 2017.
Proud Boys have been involved in a series of high profile violent clashes during political events.
In October 2018, New York City police arrested several Proud Boys members who were arguing with anti-fascist protesters after a speech by McInnes at a Republican club in Manhattan.
Proud Boys members have also frequently clashed with counterprotesters at rallies in California and Oregon.
Most recently, the group took part in the siege of the Capitol on January 6, where some members were forced into the building.
In February, they were designated a terrorist group by Canada.
Prosecutors have said the Proud Boys allowed members to communicate on Baofeng radios on specific frequencies.
The Chinese-made devices can be programmed to operate on hundreds of frequencies, making it difficult for outsiders to listen in.
In December, a federal judge declined to dismiss a previous indictment that charged four alleged leaders of the far-right Proud Boys with conspiracy.
U.S. District Judge Timothy Kelly rejected defense attorneys’ arguments that the four men — Ethan Nordean, Joseph Biggs, Zachary Rehl and Charles Donohoe — were charged with conduct protected by the First Amendment’s right to free speech.
Nordean, of Auburn, Washington, was president of the Proud Boys chapter and a member of the group’s national “Elders Council.” Biggs, of Ormond Beach, Florida, is a self-described Proud Boys organizer.
Rehl was president of the Proud Boys Division in Philadelphia. Donohoe, of Kernersville, North Carolina, was also chairman of his local branch, according to the indictment.
Proud Boys members describe the group as a politically incorrect men’s club for “western chauvinists.” Its members have often fought with anti-fascist activists at rallies and protests.
Gavin McInnes, co-founder of Vice Media, which founded the Proud Boys in 2016, sued the Southern Poverty Law Center for labeling it a hate group.