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Proud Boys member pleads guilty to Capitol riot charges

Supporters of President Donald Trump riot against the Electoral College vote count on January 6, 2021, in protest of Trump's loss to President-elect Joe Biden, prompting a lockdown of the Capitol Building. Photo by Leigh Vogel/UPI | License Photo

Dec. 22 (UPI) -- A member of the Proud Boys pleaded guilty Wednesday to two felony charges related to his involvement in the Jan. 6 riots at the U.S. Capitol.

Matthew Greene, a 34-year-old member of the Syracuse, N.Y., branch of the Proud Boys, pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy and one count of obstructing the official proceeding of Congress; certification of the electoral college votes during the Jan. 6 siege.

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Prosecutors said they plan to recommend a sentence of 41 to 51 months in prison for Greene, who is set to be sentenced in March, after he agreed to cooperate with the government.

Greene, the first self-proclaimed member of the Proud Boys to plead guilty in a case related to the riots, was indicted alongside fellow Proud Boys William Pepe and Dominic Pezzola, who is also charged with assaulting or resisting officers at the Capitol.

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Pepe and Pezzola have both pleaded not guilty.

The indictment alleged that Greene and Pezzola "connected earpieces to digital handheld radios and put them on" after meeting on the National Mall and were "among the first wave to cross the downed police line and advance unlawfully into the West Plaza."

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Greene said that on the night before the riots Pepe stayed in his hotel room where he slept on the floor and that he programmed radios belonging to Pezzola. Greene was also meant to program a radio for Enrique Tarrio, national chairman of the Proud Boys, but he was arrested for burning a stolen "Black Lives Matter" flag in a Jan. 4 protest and was ordered to stay out of Washington, D.C.

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After the riots Greene allegedly sent a text that read: "I'm good. We took the Capitol," and then ordered 2,000 rounds of assault-rifle ammunition and a gas mask, according to court records.

Defense attorney Michael Kasmarek sought to downplay Greene's involvement with the group, saying he attended about three Proud Boys events from November 2020 to January 2021 and held "the lowest status in the organization."

He added that Greene has since "concluded that his personal beliefs and ethics do not align with those of the Proud Boys" and "is anxious to publicly disavow his brief membership in this group."

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