Former Proud Boys head Joseph Biggs receives 17 years in prison, second-longest sentence in Jan. 6 Capitol riot case

A former organizer of the far-right extremist group Proud Boys was sentenced Thursday to 17 years in prison for leading an attack on the U.S. Capitol to prevent the peaceful transfer of power from Donald Trump to Joe Biden following the 2020 presidential election.

The sentence for Joseph Biggs is the second longest among hundreds of Capitol riot cases so far, following the 18-year prison sentence for Oath Keepers founder Stewart Rhodes.

Federal prosecutors had recommended a 33-year prison sentence for Biggs, who helped lead dozens of Proud Boys members and associates in the march to the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021. Biggs and other Proud Boys They joined the mob that broke police lines and forced lawmakers to flee, interrupting the joint session of Congress to certify Democrat Biden’s electoral victory.

“I know I made a mistake that day,” Biggs told the judge just before being sentenced, “but I’m not a terrorist.”

The judge who convicted Biggs will also separately sentence four other Proud Boys who were convicted by a jury in May after a four-month trial in Washington, D.C., that exposed Trump’s, a Republican, acceptance of lies. by far-right extremists, who stole the 2020 elections.

Proud Boys organizer Joseph Biggs was sentenced to 17 years in prison for his role in the Jan. 6 riot at the Capitol. PA

Enrique Tarrio, a Miami resident who was national president and top leader of the Proud Boys, is scheduled to be sentenced Tuesday. His sentence was moved from Wednesday to next week because U.S. District Judge Timothy Kelly was ill.

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Tarrio was not in Washington on January 6. He had been arrested two days before the Capitol riot on charges of defacing a Black Lives Matter banner during an earlier demonstration in the nation’s capital, and complied with a judge’s order to leave the scene. city ​​after his arrest. He handpicked Biggs and Proud Boys chapter president Ethan Nordean to lead the group on the ground in his absence, prosecutors said.

Biggs, from Ormond Beach, Florida, described himself as an organizer for the Proud Boys. He served in the US Army for eight years before being discharged in 2013. Biggs subsequently worked as a correspondent for Infowars, the website operated by conspiracy theorist Alex Jones.

Proud Boys organizer Joseph Biggs walks from the George C. Young Federal Annex Courthouse in Orlando, Florida, on Jan. 20, 2021, after a court hearing into his involvement in the U.S. Capitol riot. United States on January 6, 2021. (Sam Thomas /OrlaBiggs’ sentence was the second-longest Jan. 6-related sentence imposed so far. PA
capitol riotsA mob broke through police barricades and stormed the Capitol building on January 6, 2021. Getty Images

Biggs, Tarrio, Nordean and Proud Boys chapter leader Zachary Rehl were found guilty on charges including seditious conspiracy, a crime rarely brought up in the Civil War era. A fifth member of the Proud Boys, Dominic Pezzola, was acquitted of seditious conspiracy but found guilty of other serious charges.

Prosecutors also recommended prison sentences of 33 years for Tarrio, 30 years for Rehl, 27 years for Nordean and 20 years for Pezzola. The judge is scheduled to sentence Rehl later Thursday. Pezzola and Nordean are scheduled to be sentenced Friday.

Defense attorneys argued that the Justice Department was unfairly holding their clients responsible for the violent actions of others in the crowd of Trump supporters at the Capitol.

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More than 1,100 people have been charged with federal crimes related to the Capitol riot. More than 600 of them have been convicted and sentenced.

In addition to Rhodes, six members of the anti-government group Oath Keepers were also convicted of seditious conspiracy after a separate trial last year.

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