The Justice Department has asked for a hefty sentencing for former Proud Boys leader Enrique Tarrio. He was previously convicted of seditious conspiracy for his involvement in the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the U.S. Capitol.
If sentenced to their request, it would be the longest punishment imposed in a case dealing with insurrection, the Los Angeles Times reported. The record—18 years—is held by Oath Keepers founder Steward Rhodes, who was found guilty of seditious conspiracy in another case.
The harsh sentence request came as it emerged that Christopher Worrell, another member of the extremist group, had disappeared days before he was due to be sentenced on Friday, the Guardian reported.
Tarrio is the former national chairman of the far-right extremist Proud Boys. He and three lieutenants were convicted in May of conspiring to interfere with the transfer of presidential power in the hopes of keeping then-President Trump in the White House after he lost the 2020 election, the outlet added. Although Tarrio was not in attendance at the Jan. 6 riot, the DOJ has largely focused on him in its investigation.
Prosecutors have argued during the lengthy trial that the Proud Boys have looked at themselves as foot soldiers for Trump as the Republican party continued to spread false allegations that the election was stolen from Trump.
“They unleashed a force on the Capitol that was calculated to exert their political will on elected officials by force and to undo the results of a democratic election,” prosecutors wrote in their filing on Thursday. “The foot soldiers of the right aimed to keep their leader in power. They failed. They are not heroes; they are criminals.”
More than three dozen people charged in the Capitol siege have been identified by federal authorities as leaders, members or associates of the Proud Boys, the Guardian reported. Prosecutors are also asking for a 33-year-sentence for one of Tarrio’s co-defendants, Joseph Biggs of Ormond Beach, Florida, a self-described Proud Boys organizer, as well as a 30-year prison term for Zachary Rehl, who was president of the Proud Boys chapter in Philadelphia; 27 years in prison for Ethan Nordean of Auburn, Washington, who was a Proud Boys chapter president; and 20 years for Dominic Pezzola, a Proud Boys member from Rochester, New York.
A total of about 1,000 people have been charged with federal crimes related to the January 6 riot. More than 600 of them have pleaded guilty or been convicted after trials decided by a jury or judge.
Defense attorneys argued there was no conspiracy and no plan to attack the Capitol.