WASHINGTON (AP) â€” The leader of the far-right Proud Boys extremist group was arrested Tuesday on a conspiracy charge for his suspected role in a coordinated attack on the U.S. Capitol to stop Congress from certifying President Joe Bidenâ€™s 2020 electoral victory.
Proud Boys former chairman Henry â€œEnriqueâ€ Tarrio wasnâ€™t there when the riot erupted on Jan. 6, 2021. Police had arrested Tarrio in Washington two days before the riot and charged him with vandalizing a Black Lives Matter banner at a historic Black church during a protest in December 2020. Tarrio was released from jail on Jan. 14 after serving his five-month sentence for that case.
The new riot-related charges are among the most serious filed so far, but they arenâ€™t the first of their kind. Eleven members or associates of the antigovernment Oath Keepers militia group, including its founder and leader Stewart Rhodes, were charged on Jan. 12 with seditious conspiracy in the Capitol attack.
More than three dozen people charged in the Capitol siege have been identified by federal authorities as Proud Boys leaders, members or associates.
A New York man pleaded guilty in December to storming the U.S. Capitol with fellow Proud Boys members. Matthew Greene was the first Proud Boys member to publicly plead guilty to conspiring with other members to stop Congress from certifying the Electoral College vote. Greene agreed to cooperate with authorities.