A federal grand jury has indicted Enrique Tarrio, the former leader of the Proud Boys, on charges of conspiracy for his role in the January 6, 2021, riot at the U.S. Capitol.
Tarrio is the second leader of a far-right group to be charged with conspiracy, joining Stewart Rhodes, the leader of the Oath Keepers militia, who was charged in January.
Tarrio was not in Washington, D.C., on the day of the riot because he was arrested several days earlier for vandalizing a Black Lives Matter banner and ordered to leave the city prior to the Stop the Steal Rally on January 6. Despite not being directly involved with the riot, prosecutors alleged that Tarrio was in contact with members of the Proud Boys and gave them instructions to dress “incognito” to avoid attracting any attention to themselves. Once the protesters stormed the Capitol Building, Tarrio remained in contact with several leaders of the Proud Boys using the messaging app Telegram.
“Although Tarrio is not accused of physically taking part in the breach of the Capitol, the indictment alleges that he led the advance planning and remained in contact with other members of the Proud Boys during their breach of the Capitol,” the Department of Justice said in a press release.
“Tarrio nonetheless continued to direct and encourage the Proud Boys prior to and during the events of Jan. 6, 2021, and that he claimed credit for what had happened on social media and in an encrypted chat room during and after the attack.”