US on conviction spree against Proud Boys ahead of elections year
The Proud Boys members are being convicted on charges related to the January 6 attack on the US Capitol and receiving long sentences.
Proud Boys members Ethan Nordean and Dominic Pezzola were sentenced to 18 years and 10 years in prison respectively on the US Capitol riot case, the US Justice Department said in a statement.
Pezzola, 46, was convicted by a court of assaulting police and obstructing an official proceeding.
In contrast, Nordean's charges were considerably more severe, as he played the leading role in orchestrating the attack on the Capitol.
The 33-year-old, also known as Rufio Panman, was convicted by Judge Timothy Kelly of an attempt to obstruct Congress' certification of President Joe Biden's election win against former President Donald Trump, as well as conspiracy and police obstruction.
Nordean was the "undisputed leader on the ground on Jan. 6," leading an organized group of nearly 200 "rally boys" to attack the Capitol, prosecutor Jason McCullough said on Friday.
This week saw US courts active to issue rulings on members of the far-right group on the January 6 events.
Joseph Biggs, 33, was sentenced on Friday to 17 years behind bars, while Zach Rehl, 38, received a 15-year conviction. Biggs spent eight years in the US Army until being medically discharged in 2013, after which he served as a correspondent for Infowars, a website run by conspiracy theorist Alex Jones.
Before the court decision was made, Biggs expressed that he was aware he "messed up that day" but pleaded that he was "not a terrorist."
Enrique Tarrio, national chairman and senior commander of the Proud Boys, is due to be sentenced next Tuesday.
More than 1,100 people have been charged with Capitol riot-related federal crimes. Over 600 of them have been convicted and sentenced.