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Proud Boys ex-leader Tarrio charged with seditious conspiracy

Proud Boys ex-leader Tarrio charged with seditious conspiracy
Ex-Proud Boys leader Enrique Tarrio and four other group associates are facing seditious conspiracy charges in an indictment Monday over the deadly U.S. Capitol attack on January 6, 2021. EPA-EFE/GAMAL DIAB

June 6 (UPI) -- The former leader of the extremist group Proud Boys, Enrique Tarrio, and four other leaders were indicted Monday on seditious conspiracy charges in the deadly U.S. Capitol attack on Jan. 6, 2021.

The group, which also includes Joseph Biggs, Ethan Nordean, Zachary Rehl and Dominic Pezzola, was charged with conspiring to overthrow the government or prevent the execution of U.S. law in the riots to allegedly block Congress from transferring presidential power.

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Tarrio, 38, was not at the Capitol when it was stormed, but prosecutors said he helped coordinate the attack to keep Congress from certifying the results of Joe Biden's 2020 election win over Donald Trump, even allegedly posting "Proud of my boys and my country" on social media.

Monday's charges are the second and more serious the group is facing.

RELATED Enrique Tarrio, former Proud Boys leader, denied jail release

Tarrio was arrested in March and pleaded not guilty to conspiracy to obstruct an official proceeding and two counts of assaulting, resisting or impeding officers along with destruction of government property.

Last month's request to be released from jail as he awaits trial was denied.

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"Even though he was not physically present near the Capitol that day, Tarrio's alleged leadership and organizational role in the conspiracy -- as well as his alleged experience using encrypted communications channels to conceal his activity from law enforcement -- suggests that he has skillset, resources, and networks to plan similar challenges to the lawful functioning of the United States government in the future," U.S. District Judge Timothy Kelly wrote in an opinion denying Tarrio's release.

RELATED Former Proud Boys leader pleads not guilty to Capitol riot charges

Tarrio claims he is no longer associated with the Proud Boys and that he expressed disapproval of the insurrection to law enforcement afterward.

The leader of the Oath Keepers militia Stewart Rhodes, among several others, is also charged with seditious conspiracy in the attack.

Five people were killed in the riots and more than 100 police officers were injured. At this point, more than 770 people have been charged.

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