The leader of the far-right, extremist group Proud Boys went undercover to assist Miami police and the FBI in multiple drug and illegal gambling investigations in a "significant way" after he was arrested in 2013, court transcripts show.
According to the court transcript, 36-year-old Henry "Enrique" Tarrio, who is from Miami, began working with the FBI after he was arrested on federal fraud charges related to a scheme to sell stolen diabetic test strips well below market value.
At a 2014 court hearing, a prosecutor arguing for a reduced sentence for Tarrio told the judge Tarrio "was the one who wanted to talk to law enforcement, wanted to clear his name, wanted to straighten this out so that he could move on with his life."
A former federal prosecutor in Tarrio's case confirmed to NBC 6 that Tarrio aided local and federal law enforcement in the prosecution of crimes ranging from running marijuana grow houses in Miami, to operating pharmaceutical fraud schemes.
The transcript also states Tarrio worked in an undercover capacity in a case involving information pertaining to an illegal immigrant smuggling ring.
Tarrio helped federal law enforcement prosecute 13 other people in two separate indictments, the prosecutor argued. His sentence was reduced from 30 months in prison to 16 months.
Tarrio did not respond to requests for comment from NBC 6 or NBC News. Reuters was the first to report Tarrio's cooperation with law enforcement. Tarrio denied working with police, telling the outlet, "I don’t know any of this. I don’t recall any of this."
Tarrio’s role as a police cooperator predated the rise of the Proud Boys, which was formed in 2016.
“Well if you’re in the Proud Boys, you’ve gotta be pretty nervous," said Kendall Coffey, former U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Florida. "Because if this person was working as a confidential informant, almost like an undercover agent or secret agent, you are wondering, 'What is it that he could be saying about us some day?'"
Tarrio was arrested on Jan. 4, two days before the Capitol Siege, on weapons charges and ordered to stay out of the nation’s capital. Tarrio is accused of vandalizing a Black Lives Matter banner at a historic Black church last month.
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