Four Proud Boys members found guilty of sedition over Capitol attack
The sentence carries a maximum of 20 years which all four convicts are expected to serve.
A US jury ruled on Thursday that four members of the neo-fascist political organization Proud Boys are guilty of seditious conspiracy for taking part in the attack on the US Capitol that was aimed at keeping former President Donald Trump in power.
Among the convicts was Enrique Tarrio, the 39-year-old former "national chairman" of the group whose charges have been issued after a three-month-long trial in Washington DC.
The three other members are Joseph Biggs, 39, Ethan Nordean, 32, and Zachary Rehl, 37, all of whom are ranked as lieutenants in the movement. A fifth Proud Boy named Dominic Pezzola was found innocent. The sentence carries a maximum of 20 years, which all four convicts are expected to serve.
"After January 6, I promised that the Justice Department would do everything in its power to hold accountable those responsible for the heinous attack that sought to disrupt a cornerstone of our democracy -- the peaceful transfer of power to a newly elected government," Attorney General Merrick Garland told reporters.
"Today's verdict makes clear that the Justice Department will do everything in its power to defend the American people and American democracy," Garland said.
WATCH: Attorney General Merrick Garland: “Today the Justice Department secured the conviction of four leaders of the Proud Boys for seditious conspiracy related to the #January6th attack on the U.S. Capitol.”#Jan6thInsurrection pic.twitter.com/4HDFhUUzIf— IT’S TIME FOR JUSTICE (@LiddleSavages) May 5, 2023
Although Tarrio was not in Capitol Hill on the day of the attack, he was still charged with orchestrating the storming of the premises in order to thwart President Joe Biden's swearing-in ceremony.
Tarrio was not in Washington on January 6 but was accused of directing the storming of the Capitol in an attempt to stop Congress from counting the electoral college vote to formalize Biden's electoral victory.
Other charges that all five Proud Boys received involved the obstruction of the proceedings of Congress, impeding law enforcement, as well as the destruction of government property.
For instance, Pezzola, 45, was found guilty of robbery after video footage released showed him using a stolen police riot shield to break into a window at the Capitol.
Read more: Oath keepers’ Rhodes guilty of seditious conspiracy in Jan. 6 attack
Convictions of this sort have been argued to be of serious concern for Trump and his aides, as more evidence is piling up to uncover whether or not the former administration had planned or fomented the attack on Capitol Hill.
As of today, over 1,000 have been arrested in connection to the Congress storming. Over 600 have been convicted so far, but only a handful were faced with charges of sedition, which implies inciting people to rebellion.
Last year, four associates of the far-right Oath Keeper group were convicted for their roles in the attack on the US Capitol - all of whom received 20 years of detention.
Oath Keepers founder, Stewart Rhodes, was also convicted in November of seditious conspiracy. Tarrio's indictment states that he met with Rhodes on January 5 in a parking garage in Washington.
The riots on January 6 resulted in four deaths. Five police officers also died in the days and weeks after the riots.
Read more: US Capitol enhances security measures ahead of possible Trump arrest