Proud Boys Leader Jailed Over Conspiracy Charges From Capitol Attack

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Former national Proud Boys leader Henry “Enrique” Tarrio has been ordered to remain in jail ahead of further proceedings in his recently unveiled Capitol riot case. The order was delivered by Miami-area U.S. Magistrate Judge Lauren F. Louis, who acted to keep Tarrio in custody after prosecutors insisted that he would pose both a flight risk and a danger to the community if allowed out. Tarrio was not present for the Capitol riot, but he was involved in preparations for it and directly in touch with people who were there. Assistant U.S. Attorney Jason McCullough insisted there’s “overwhelming evidence that Tarrio organized a plot to corruptly obstruct, influence, and impede the certification of the electoral college vote, an offense that strikes at the heart of our democracy.”

Prosecutors have also revealed additional details about a previously reported January 5 gathering including Tarrio and Stewart Rhodes (among others). Rhodes is the founder and leader of the Oath Keepers, a far-right group that was also involved in the attack on the Capitol — and Rhodes has also been charged in connection to the riot. As for Tarrio, at that gathering he “told another individual that he had cleared all of the messages on his phone before he was arrested,” according to federal prosecutors’ descriptions. (Tarrio had recently been arrested for offenses involving his part in burning a Black Lives Matter banner that had been stolen from a D.C. church.) Later on January 5, Tarrio used other people’s mobile devices to log into his encrypted messaging accounts and “assured his men that his phone had not been compromised,” according to McCullough — so these circumstances fed right back into apparent preparations for subsequent violence at the Capitol.

The Washington Post notes Tarrio’s defense attorneys “faced an uphill fight because federal law makes pretrial detention the default for defendants charged with certain offenses, including felony destruction of federal property.” Tarrio’s charges include destruction of government property and aiding and abetting, apparently meaning he’s accused of aiding and abetting the perpetration of the offense. His other charges include conspiracy to obstruct an official proceeding — although seditious conspiracy, the conspiracy charge used against Rhodes and other Oath Keepers, hasn’t been deployed against Tarrio and his co-defendants. McCullough — the federal prosecutor — has previously laid out the seriousness of the case, however, explaining how the “evidence shows that dozens of men in his [Tarrio’s] charge functioned as the tip of the spear for the mob on January 6, including by conducting assaults on law enforcement, leading a charge up the stairs to the Upper West Terrace of the Capitol grounds, occupying the Capitol grounds and building, and causing lawmakers to be evacuated and the proceedings to be suspended.” Read more at this link.

Featured Image (edited): via Anthony Crider on Wikimedia Commons, available under a Creative Commons License