Former Proud Boys leader Enrique Tarrio has been sentenced to 22 years in prison and 36 months of supervised release for his involvement in the Jan. 6 U.S. Capitol riots.
According to CNN, Tarrio’s prison sentence was handed down by District Judge Timothy Kelly and is the most severe one to date in connection with the attack.
“It is kind of hard to put into words how important the peaceful transfer of power is,” the District Judge said. “Our country was founded as an experiment in self-government by the people, but it cannot long endure if the way we elect our leaders is threatened with force and violence.”
“Mr. Tarrio was the ultimate leader, the ultimate person who organized, who was motivated by revolutionary zeal,” he said, sharing that Tarrio didn’t show “no remorse.”
Tarrio begged the District Judge to be more lenient, and spare him mercy, by giving him a sentence of 15 years opposed to 22.
“I am not a political zealot,” Tarrio begged. “Inflicting harm or changing the results of the election was not my goal,” he continued. “Please show me mercy. I ask you that you not take my 40s from me.”
According to NBC News, the Miami native formed the “Ministry of Self Defense,” a branch of the Proud Boys that included defendants Nordean, Biggs, and Rehl, to obstruct the authority of the United States government through force before the riot.
According to NPR, The Justice Department said that the 39-year-old “conspired to corruptly obstruct, influence, and impede an official proceeding, the certification of the Electoral College vote,” although he wasn’t present during the historic riot.
However, before the attack, Tarrio and other members of the “Ministry of Self-Defense” hand-selected others to serve as “rally boys, which included Pezzola. Although Tarrio wasn’t present, he encouraged his “rally boys” to inflict violence during the riots if necessary.
After seeing the results of the riot, Tarrio released a message to his followers.
“Proud of my boys and my country,” he said.
His co-defendants Ethan Nordean, Joseph Biggs, Zachary Rehl and Dominic Pezzola received their sentences on Friday. Biggs received a 17-year sentence, Rehl a 15-year term, Nordean an 18-year sentence, and Pezzola a 10-year sentence.