After his arrest in 2012, Enrique Tarrio worked undercover as an informant for the FBI and the police. He helped authorities prosecute more than a dozen people on various counts related to drugs, gambling and people smuggling, according to investigations by Reuters, supported by the testimony of one of his lawyers. In an interview with the news agency, the leader of the far-right militia that stormed the Capitol on January 6, 2021, however, denied the claims. “I do not know anything about it. I don’t remember any of that,” he said at the time.
Arrested immediately upon arrival in Washington in January 2021 expelled from the city just two days before the uprisingTarrio was accused of possessing two gun magazines and burning a Black Lives Matter banner outside a church attended by African Americans during a demonstration by supporters of former President Donald Trump in December 2020.
At that rally, the leader of the Proud Boys appears in video holding a megaphone while rousing the crowd with threats: “To the parasites of Congress and the stolen White House.” You want a war, you got it!
The Proud Boys, formed in 2016 as an online protest group against political correctness, were on the verge of an attack in the United States Capitol on the afternoon of January 6, 2021 that killed five and confirmed the election should be the victory of Joe Biden and the resulting defeat of Donald Trump. The far-right militia played a key role in the uprising, and Tarrio, the will be sentenced this Tuesday for seditious conspiracyHe has headed the Group at national level since 2018.
Tarrio wasn’t physically in Washington, but he planned the action. For this reason, the public prosecutor’s office is asking for 33 years in prison for him. That’s what the prosecution claims led the attack from a Baltimore hotelfrom where he was in close contact with his family.
In any case, the decision will rest with the federal judge Timothy Kellywho sentenced another member of the Proud Boys last week, Ethan Nordean, to 18 years in prison. The public prosecutor demanded 27 years. But it is the highest sentence ever imposed on a far-right militant involved in the attack, as founder of the Oath Keepers militia, Stewart Rhodes, was also sentenced to 18 years in May.
Tarrio is one of five members of the Proud Boys who face jail terms, along with the aforementioned Nordeans, Joe Biggs, Dominic Pezzola and Zachary Rehl. But the leader of the neo-fascist militia was not just any seditious man. His parents emigrated to the United States from Cuba.
“As someone whose parents fled a socialist country and came to this country in search of the American dream, it’s a little scary that these Democrats and liberals are calling for socialism,” he told Ultra in early 2019 . FoxNews. That was it Florida State Director of the Latinos for Trump Groupfor which he appeared at various Republican Party events and rallies of the former president.
In fact, in one of the anti-Biden presidential debates, Trump avoided condemning the scenes of violence unleashed by the far-right militia as part of the protests following the killing of George Floyd, after urging the Democratic nominee to dismiss statements of Antifa violence. “Proud boys stand by and stand by”, the tycoon limited himself to the answer. A message that the group led by Tarrio interpreted as a call to action.
On Jan. 4, Tarrio himself sent a voice message to an internal group proposing, “They want to storm the Capitol.” Shortly thereafter, another member wondered, “What would you do if a million patriots stormed and took the Capital Building?” Shoot at the crowd? I do not believe that”. Barely 48 hours later, the Proud Boys were among the first to attack the police stationed in the Capitol.
However, Tarrio’s defense ultimately traced his actions back to statements by Trump, who urged his supporters to “fight like hell” at a rally in Washington just yards from the Capitol on the morning of Jan. 6. “Those were the words of Donald Trump. It was his motivationhis lawyer pointed out Najib Hasan, to the jury in closing arguments. “It wasn’t Enrique Tarrio. They want to use Enrique Tarrio as a scapegoat for Donald Trump and those in power.”