Capitol Riot

Ex-Proud Boys Leader Enrique Tarrio Arrested in Miami in Connection With Capitol Riot

Tarrio, 38, was indicted on conspiracy and other charges in the Capitol breach, U.S. Department of Justice officials said

NBC Universal, Inc.

The former leader of the right-wing Proud Boys was arrested in Miami Tuesday morning in connection with the Jan. 6, 2021 Capitol riot.

The attorney for Enrique Tarrio confirmed he was taken into custody at a home on Northwest 2nd Street where the FBI and other law enforcement were conducting a raid.

Tarrio, 38, was indicted on one count of each conspiracy to obstruct an official proceeding and obstruction of an official proceeding, as well as two counts each of assaulting, resisting, or impeding certain officers and destruction of government property in the Capitol breach, U.S. Department of Justice officials said.

Tarrio appeared in federal court in Miami Tuesday, where he was appointed a public defender after his attorney had a conflict of interest.

He's due back in court Friday when a judge will determine whether he'll be given a bond.

NBC 6's Nicole Lauren has the latest on this breaking news story in the arrest of Enrique Tarrio.

Tarrio wasn't at the Capitol on Jan. 6. Police had arrested him 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.

The day before the Capitol was attacked, a judge ordered Tarrio to stay out of Washington. He later served a five-month sentence in that case.

The indictment claims Tarrio led the advance planning and remained in contact with other members of the Proud Boys during their breach of the Capitol.

The indictment also alleges that Tarrio claimed credit for what had happened on social media and in an encrypted chat room during and after the attack.

After his release from jail earlier this year, Tarrio told NBC 6 that if he hadn’t been arrested, he would have been at the Capitol that day and that he would have stopped the Proud Boys from participating in any violence.

“I don’t agree with or condone what happened at the Capitol when it comes to the violence,” Tarrio said. “We went to Washington D.C. with the intent of sitting there and supporting President Trump and then drink beer after, and obviously, I wasn’t there and I can’t tell you what was in their heads, but I think the mob mentality just took over.”

In his first sit-down interview since being released, Enrique Tarrio spoke exclusively to NBC 6 Investigator Heather Walker, saying he regrets the actions that landed him in jail and the violence on Jan. 6, 2021.

The new riot-related charges are among the most serious filed so far, but they aren’t the first of their kind. Eleven members or associates of the anti-government 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.

On the morning of Jan. 6, Proud Boys members met at the Washington Monument and marched to the Capitol before then-President Donald Trump finished speaking to thousands of supporters near the White House.

Just before Congress convened a joint session to certify the election results, a group of Proud Boys followed a crowd of people who breached barriers at a pedestrian entrance to the Capitol grounds, an indictment says. Several Proud Boys also entered the Capitol building itself after the mob smashed windows and forced open doors.

Prosecutors have said the Proud Boys arranged for members to communicate using specific frequencies on Baofeng radios. The Chinese-made devices can be programmed for use on hundreds of frequencies, making them difficult for outsiders to eavesdrop.

In December, a federal judge refused to dismiss an earlier indictment charging four alleged leaders of the far-right Proud Boys with conspiracy. U.S. District Judge Timothy Kelly rejected defense attorneys’ arguments that the four men — Ethan Nordean, Joseph Biggs, Zachary Rehl and Charles Donohoe — were charged with conduct that is protected by the First Amendment right to free speech.

Nordean, Biggs, Rehl and Donohoe remain jailed while awaiting a trial scheduled for May.

Nordean, of Auburn, Washington, was a Proud Boys chapter president and member of the group’s national “Elders Council.” Biggs, of Ormond Beach, Florida, is a self-described Proud Boys organizer. Rehl was president of the Proud Boys chapter in Philadelphia. Donohoe, of Kernersville, North Carolina, also served as president of his local chapter, according to the indictment.

Proud Boys members describe the group as a politically incorrect men’s club for “Western chauvinists.” Its members frequently have brawled with antifascist activists at rallies and protests. Vice Media co-founder Gavin McInnes, who founded the Proud Boys in 2016, sued the Southern Poverty Law Center for labeling it as a hate group.

This is a breaking story, check back for updates.

NBC 6 and AP
Contact Us