In a verdict today, Enrique Tarrio, the ex-head of the Proud Boys, received a 22-year prison sentence for his involvement in the Capitol attack on Jan. 6, 2021. A D.C. jury convicted Tarrio and three other top members of the group on charges of seditious conspiracy. While Tarrio’s counterparts received sentences ranging from 15 to 18 years, the Department of Justice had initially pressed for a steeper 33-year punishment for him, highlighting his central role in instigating the violence.

In an emotional plea, Tarrio acknowledged his wrongdoings and expressed remorse, particularly towards law enforcement, urging U.S. District Judge Timothy Kelly for leniency. Tarrio satated:

“I will have to live with that shame and disappointment for the rest of my life. We invoked 1776 and the Constitution of the United States and that was so wrong to do. That was a perversion. The events of Jan. 6 is something that should never be celebrated.”

“I am not a political zealot. Inflicting harm or changing the results of the election was not my goal,”

A notable twist in the case: Tarrio wasn’t even present in D.C. on the day of the incident. His arrest on unrelated charges had taken place just two days prior. Yet, prosecutors managed to build a strong case around his pivotal role in spearheading Proud Boys’ demonstrations to storm the Capitol.

While Judge Kelly recognized Tarrio, 39, as the linchpin of the conspiracy, he stopped short of granting the DOJ’s full sentencing recommendation.

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