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Former Proud Boys leader sentenced to 17 years in prison for the assault on the Capitol

Former Proud Boys leader sentenced to 17 years in prison for the assault on the Capitol

A former organizer of the far-right group Proud Boys was sentenced Thursday to 17 years in prison for leading the assault on the United States Congress to prevent the peaceful transfer of power from Donald Trump to Joe Biden after the 2020 elections.

The sentence for Joseph Biggs is the second longest handed down for the assault so far, after the sentence of 18 years in prison for Oath Keepers founder Stewart Rhodes.

Federal prosecutors recommended a 33-year sentence for Biggs. He and other Proud Boys joined the mob that on January 6, 2021 broke police ranks and forced lawmakers to flee during the joint session of Congress to certify Democrat Biden’s electoral victory.

Biggs acknowledged to the judge that he “messed up that day,” but attributed it to being “seduced by the crowd” of Trump supporters outside the Capitol and said he is not a violent person or “a terrorist.”

The judge who sentenced Biggs will also separately sentence four other Proud Boys convicted by a jury in May.

Enrique Tarrio, top leader of the Proud Boys, is scheduled to be sentenced Tuesday.

Tarrio was not in Washington on January 6. He had been arrested two days before the Capitol riot on charges of damaging a Black Lives Matter banner during an earlier demonstration in the nation’s capital, and complied with a judge’s order to leave the city after his arrest. He picked Biggs and Proud Boys chapter president Ethan Nordean to be the group’s on-the-ground leaders in his absence, prosecutors said.

Biggs, of Ormond Beach, Florida, served in the Army for eight years before being medically discharged in 2013. He later worked as a correspondent for Infowars, the website operated by conspiracy theorist Alex Jones.

Lawyers for the defendants argue that the Justice Department is unfairly holding their clients responsible for the violent actions of others in the crowd of Trump supporters at the Capitol.

More than 1,100 people have been charged with federal crimes related to the riots on Capitol Hill. More than 600 of them have been convicted and sentenced.

Source: VOA Espanol

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