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Proud Boys Leader Enrique Tarrio indicted for conspiracy related to January 6 riot

Proud Boys leader charged with conspiracy
Proud Boys leader charged with conspiracy 02:10

Enrique Tarrio, leader of the far-right group the Proud Boys, has been indicted for conspiracy related to the assault on the U.S. Capitol on January 6, 2021, when Congress was counting the electoral votes cast in the 2020 presidential election, the Justice Department announced in a press release. Tarrio was arrested Tuesday following his indictment.

Tarrio, 38, was arrested in Miami, and is expected to appear in court Tuesday in the Southern District of Florida. The indictment also includes five other Proud Boys members who were previously charged in relation to January 6.

Tarrio has not been accused of taking part physically in the Capitol rioting, but the Justice Department alleges he led the advance planning and remained in contact with some of the Proud Boys while they were taking part in the Capitol breach. The Proud Boys leader had been arrested on January 4, 2021, and accused of bringing ammunition into the District of Columbia and burning a Black Lives Matter banner. He was then released the next day and ordered to stay out of Washington.

But according to the indictment, Tarrio allegedly continued to direct the Proud Boys during the rioting at the Capitol, and on social media and in an encrypted chat room, he claimed credit for what had happened. 

Henry "Enrique" Tarrio, leader of the Proud Boys, holds a U.S. flag during a protest showing support for Cubans demonstrating against their government, in Miami, Florida on July 16, 2021. EVA MARIE UZCATEGUI/AFP via Getty Images

The indictment alleges that in December 2020, Tarrio and Proud Boys members conspired to obstruct and stop the certification of the Electoral College vote on January 6, 2021. Prosecutors said in the indictment that in December, an unnamed individual sent Tarrio a document entitled "1776 RETURNS," which described a plan to occupy multiple buildings including congressional chambers. Tarrio later created multiple encrypted messaging groups to discuss plans.

On January 5 — after he had been ordered not to be in the District of Columbia — Tarrio met with Stewart Rhodes, the head of another far-right group, the Oath Keepers, and others in a D.C. parking garage. The Capitol was discussed.   

The next day, on January 6, about 100 members of the Proud Boys gathered at the Washington Monument at 6 a.m. Several are alleged to have "directed, mobilized, and led members of the crowd onto the Capitol grounds and into the Capitol, leading to dismantling of metal barricades, destruction of property, and assaults on law enforcement," the indictment says.

Tarrio posted on social media that day, "Make no mistake...we did this." At 2:41 p.m., he wrote "Proud of My Boys and my country."

Tarrio has been indicted on conspiracy to obstruct an official proceeding, obstruction of an official proceeding and two counts each of "assaulting, resisting, or impeding certain officers and destruction of government property."

This case is being prosecuted by the U.S. Attorney's office for the District of Columbia and the Justice Department Counterterrorism Section.

Andres Triay contributed to this report.

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