The former top executive of the proud boys will remain imprisoned pending trial for conspiring with other members of the far-right extremist group to attack the United States Capitol and prevent Congress from certifying Joe Biden’s presidential victory, a federal judge has ruled.
Henry “Enrique” Tarrio poses a danger to the public that cannot be mitigated by house arrest and social media bans, U.S. District Judge Timothy Kelly has said. in an order issued Friday evening.
Tarrio, a South Florida resident, has been imprisoned since his arrest on March 8 a day after his charge on charges including conspiracy. A Miami federal magistrate had previously ordered his pretrial detention.
Tarrio and other Proud Boys leaders used encrypted channels, social media and other electronic communications to plan and carry out a conspiracy storm the Capitol on January 6, 2021and interfering with Congressional certification of the Electoral College vote, according to the indictment.
Tarrio asked Kelly to order his release on bail, but the judge denied the request. Kelly said the evidence against Tarrio is “very strong” despite Tarrio’s argument that authorities essentially have “no hard evidence” against him, “perhaps in the form of direct evidence of an order from Tarrio to other Proud Boys to storm the Capitol.”
Tarrio was not in Washington when the uprising took place. Police had arrested Tarrio in the District of Columbia 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. A judge ordered Tarrio to stay outside the national capital.
Before leaving Washington, Tarrio met Elmer “Stewart” Rhodes, founder and leader of Oath Keepers and others in an underground parking lot for about 30 minutes, authorities said. Rhodes and several other members or associates of the anti-government militia Oath Keepers are charged with seditious conspiracy in the attack on the Capitol.
A documentary filmmaker recorded part of the garage meeting.
“But not much of the substance of the reunion can be squeezed out of the clips – at one point Tarrio and others asked the filmmaker to stop,” Kelly noted in his order.
Tarrio claims to have resigned as national president of the Proud Boys.
Five other men linked to the Proud Boys – Ethan Nordean, Joseph Biggs, Zachary Rehl, Charles Donohoe and Dominic Pezzola – were charged in the same March 7 indictment as Tarrio.
Donohoe, 34, of Kernersville, North Carolina, pleaded guilty in April on charges of conspiracy and assault and agreed to cooperate in Justice Department cases against other Proud Boys members.
Nordean, Biggs, Rehl and Pezzola also remain jailed pending a trial scheduled for August.
Nordean, of Auburn, Washington, was president of the Proud Boys chapter. Biggs, of Ormond Beach, Florida, described himself as a Proud Boys organizer. Rehl was president of the Proud Boys chapter in Philadelphia. The indictment describes Pezzola, of Rochester, New York, as a member of his local Proud Boys chapter.
Tarrio attempted to communicate with Nordean and Biggs by phone as the two entered and exited the Capitol, according to the indictment.