HomeWorld NewsWho is Enrique Tarrio? Jan 6 attack accused was held for theft when he was 20 – Hindustan Times
Who is Enrique Tarrio? Jan 6 attack accused was held for theft when he was 20 – Hindustan Times
September 6, 2023
Former ‘Proud Boys’ Chairman Henry ‘Enrique’ Tarrio was sentenced to 22 years behind bars on Tuesday, February 5, for seditious conspiracy and leading a plot – which eventually failed – to prevent the transfer of power from former president Donald Trump to president Joe Biden. The sentence, handed by District Judge Timothy Kelly, is the longest faced by anyone who was involved in the January 6, 2021, US Capitol riot.
Enrique is of Afro-Cuban background, and served as the Florida state director of the grassroots organisation Latinos for Donald Trump. He was a candidate in the Republican primary election for Florida’s 27th congressional district in 2020, but eventually withdrew. A former federal prosecutor and the transcripts of a 2014 federal court proceeding revealed he was an informant to both federal and local law enforcement.
Enrique, born in 1984 or 1985, was raised Catholic in Little Havana, which is a neighbourhood in Miami, Florida. He was convicted of theft when he was 20 years old and sentenced to community service and three years of probation. He was also ordered to pay restitution. Enrique later began running a poultry farm, and founded a security equipment installation firm. He also founded another firm providing GPS tracking for companies.
Enrique was indicted in 2012 and later charged for his role in a scheme to rebrand and resell stolen diabetic test strips. He was sentenced to 30 months in prison in 2013, but he served only 16.
Enrique volunteered at a Miami event for far-right commentator Milo Yiannopoulos in May 2017. In August of the same year, he attended the Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, claiming he did so to protest the removal of Confederate monuments and memorials. He became a member of ‘Proud Boys’ in 2018. In 2021, in the aftermath of the Capitol Attack, Enrique stepped down as national chairman of the organisation.
What did the judge say?
“It is kind of hard to put into words how important the peaceful transfer of power is,” judge Timothy said, according to CNN. “Our country was founded as an experiment in self-government by the people, but it cannot long endure if the way we elect our leaders is threatened with force and violence.”
“Mr. Tarrio was the ultimate leader, the ultimate person who organized, who was motivated by revolutionary zeal,” Timothy added at the end of the hearing. Timothy added that Enrique showed “no remorse.”
“What happened that day did not honor the founders, it was the kind of thing they wrote the Constitution to prevent,” the judge said.
Outside of the courthouse, Enrique’s lawyer, Nayib Hassan, stated that they “respectfully disagree” with the decision. “It caught us off guard,” Hassan said. “That’s what the appellate process is for.”
What did Enrique Tarrio say during the sentencing?
Before his sentencing, Enrique apologised for the “pain and suffering” he caused by being involved in the Capitol riot, claiming he has nothing to do with politics, groups, activism or rallies.” “I have always tried to hold myself to a higher standard and I failed,” he said. “I held myself morally above others, and this trial has shown me how wrong I was.”
Enrique added that he “spent the last year and a half trying to figure out how I ended up at this podium. On November 3, 2020, something that I never expected happened – my candidate lost. I felt like something was personally stolen from me. Every media channel that I turned to told me I was justified.”
Enrique claimed he was against the violence that claimed lives at the Capitol. “I am not a political zealot. Inflicting harm or changing the outcome of the election was not my goal,” he said.