Enrique Tarrio. Photo provided by NNPA Newswire

By Stacy M. Brown
NNPA Newswire Senior National Correspondent

The proverbial chickens have come home to roost for former national chairman of the Proud Boys, Enrique Tarrio, who was convicted earlier this year for seditious conspiracy in connection with the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the U.S. Capitol, is now facing the consequences of his actions. Tarrio, whose actions, and associations have led many to label him a traitor, including because his race and ethnicity seem to defy the loyalty he’s displayed toward white supremacists and former President Donald Trump, has been handed the most substantial prison sentence out of all the insurrectionists for his role in the events of that tumultuous day.

The Afro-Cuban Tarrio, who is 38-year-old Tarrio and was born in Miami and raised Catholic in Little Havana, was sentenced to up to 22 years in prison that included a terrorism enhancement for his involvement in plotting to disrupt the certification of the 2020 presidential election results in Congress, intending to keep Trump in power. Prosecutors pushed for a 33-year sentence.

“The case of Enrique Tarrio demonstrates that white supremacy, colonialism and misogyny are inseparable phenomena,” noted X user, @quitafor. “He played proxy for all the three but is about to get sentenced like any regular ole Black man.”

Ironically, despite being a key figurehead of the Proud Boys, Tarrio did not physically make it to the Capitol on Jan. 6. He was arrested 48 hours earlier for unrelated unlawful activity at a Donald Trump event. Authorities discovered he was already aware of an impending arrest warrant, thanks to a tip-off from a D.C. police lieutenant, who has since faced federal charges related to the incident.

Among the participants in the Jan. 6 attack, Tarrio’s co-defendant Ethan Nordean, the head of the Seattle chapter of the Proud Boys, and Stewart Rhodes, founder of the Oath Keepers, received some of the longest sentences thus far, both receiving 18-year terms. Nordean’s sentencing took place last Friday. Prosecutors argued that Tarrio strategically orchestrated his arrest to incite a reaction from his followers.

Prosecutors emphasized that Tarrio’s absence from the Capitol on Jan. 6 should not diminish the severity of his role, as he was considered a key orchestrator rather than a mere participant. They described him as “intelligent, charming, creative, and articulate,” highlighting his ability to attract and radicalize numerous followers, promote political violence, and orchestrate charged conspiracies. In his case, they also advocated for a terrorism sentencing enhancement, asserting that his actions were undeniably aimed at influencing the government.

“To Tarrio, Jan. 6 was an act of revolution,” prosecutors stated.

In Tarrio’s defense, his legal team sought a deviation from the sentencing guidelines and submitted letters of support to the court. Among those vouching for him was Tarrio’s cousin, a Miami police officer with 16 years of service. Tarrio attempted to gain mercy by finally admitting to the judge that, “What happened on January 6 was a national embarrassment.” He said he didn’t expect his candidate [Trump] to lose. Prior to Tarrio addressing the court, U.S. District Judge Timothy Kelly demurred, “I don’t see how [Tarrio] can be remorseful when he doesn’t acknowledge the crime for which he was convicted. His statements while the offense was basically going on were quite revealing about his mindset at that time.”

Since the Jan. 6 Capitol attack, over 1,100 individuals have faced charges concerning the events, with more than 300 already serving sentences. New arrests continue to occur regularly, including recent apprehensions of individuals involved in breaching the Lower West tunnel at the Capitol and one who filmed a TikTok video bragging about rioters “taking the White House,” according to the FBI.

Meanwhile, Trump, who awaits four criminal trials encompassing 91 felony counts, is facing the possibility of a prison term exceeding 800 years. Also found liable for sexual assault in a civil lawsuit earlier this year, the ex-president has not publicly expressed support for Tarrio.

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