The former top leader of the far-right extremist group Proud Boys and other members have been charged with inflammatory conspiracy for what federal prosecutors say was a coordinated attack on the US Capitol to prevent Congress from confirming President Joe Biden’s victory in the 2020 election, authorities said in a statement. Monday. .
Henry “Enrique” Tarrio, former chairman of the Proud Boys, and four others associated with the group are charged in the latest indictment against them. All five were previously charged with various counts of conspiracy.
Tarrio, the main leader of the group, was not in Washington D.C. when the riots broke out on January 1. January 6, 2021. Police arrested Tarrio in Washington two days before the riots and charged him with vandalizing a Black Lives Matter banner at a historic black church during a December 2020 protest. Tarrio was released from prison on 1 January. 14 after serving a five-month sentence in this case.
The new riot-related indictments against members of the Proud Boys are among the most serious to date, but they are not the first of their kind.
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In January, eleven members or associates of the anti-government militia group the Oath Keepers, including its founder and leader Stuart Rhodes, were charged with sedition in an attack on the Capitol.
More than three dozen people charged with the Capitol siege have been identified by federal authorities as leaders, members, or associates of the Proud Boys.
The New Yorker pleaded guilty in December to storming the US Capitol with fellow members of the Proud Boys. Matthew Green was the first member of the Proud Boys to publicly plead guilty to conspiring with other members to prevent Congress from certifying an Electoral College vote. Green agreed to cooperate with the authorities.
Jan morning. On August 6, members of the Proud Boys met at the Washington Monument and marched to the Capitol before then-President Donald Trump had finished speaking to thousands of supporters outside the White House.
Shortly before Congress convened a joint session to confirm the election results, the Proud Boys followed a crowd of people who violated barriers at the pedestrian entrance to the Capitol grounds, according to the indictment. Several Proud Boys also entered the Capitol building itself after the mob smashed the windows and forced the doors.
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Prosecutors said the Proud Boys had arranged for the members to communicate on specific frequencies on Baofeng Radio. Chinese-made devices can be programmed to use hundreds of frequencies, making it difficult for outsiders to listen.
In December, a federal judge refused to dismiss an earlier indictment that charged four alleged leaders of the far-right Proud Boys with conspiracy. U.S. District Judge Timothy Kelly dismissed defense attorneys’ argument that four men – Ethan Nordin, Joseph Biggs, Zachary Rehl and Charles Donoghue – were charged with conduct that is protected by the First Amendment to free speech.
Nordin of Auburn, Washington, was president of the Proud Boys chapter and a member of the group’s national “Council of Elders”. Biggs of Ormond Beach, Florida, describes himself as a Proud Boys organizer. Rel was president of the Philadelphia chapter of the Proud Boys. According to the indictment, Donoghue of Kernersville, North Carolina, was also president of his local chapter.
Members of the Proud Boys describe the group as a politically incorrect “Western chauvinist” men’s club. Its members frequently fought anti-fascist activists at rallies and protests. Vice Media co-founder Gavin McInnes, who founded the Proud Boys in 2016, is suing the Southern Poverty Law Center for calling it a hate group.
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