Criminal Justice

Proud Boys' Enrique Tarrio Arrested in Miami, Charged in Connection to Capitol Riot

ENrique Tarrio was arrested and charged with conspiracy for his role in the January 6 riot.
Enrique Tarrio via Facebook
ENrique Tarrio was arrested and charged with conspiracy for his role in the January 6 riot.
It's been 53 days since Miami-born former Proud Boys chairman Enrique "Henry" Tarrio was released from the D.C. Central Detention Facility in Washington, D.C., where he served a five-month sentence after pleading guilty to misdemeanor charges related to burning a Black Lives Matter flag that belonged to a church and possessing high-capacity firearm magazines.

Tarrio was arrested for those crimes on January 4, 2021, so he wasn't present when a number of fellow Proud Boys rushed the Capitol building two days later. But that hasn't stopped the federal prosecutors from arresting Tarrio, who lives in Miami's Flagami neighborhood, and charging him in a federal indictment with conspiracy for his role in planning the insurrection at the U.S. Capitol on January 6, 2021. According to the U.S. Attorney's Office, Tarrio was arrested in Miami Tuesday morning and will appear in the Southern District Court of Florida this afternoon.

Ironically, Tarrio previously told New Times that if he had been present on Janurary 6, he would have stopped his brethren from participating in the insurrection.

"I probably blame what happened on January 6 on me not being there," Tarrio told New Times this past September. "Maybe we would've stopped a lot of people from going through that first barrier and stopped the whole thing."

Prior to his incarceration in September, Tarrio was the chairman and public face of the Proud Boys, a militant organization that describes itself as a men's drinking club with "Western chauvinist" values and which frequently brawls with leftist protesters at political events. The Southern Poverty Law Center labels the Proud Boys a hate group.

Proud Boys members — including a number from Florida — have been implicated in the January 6 riot, which interrupted the certification of votes for president-elect Joe Biden. Dozens of people were injured, and five people, including a Capitol Police officer, were killed.

One of Tarrio’s associates, a South Florida Proud Boy who asked not to be named for fear of retaliation, tells New Times he saw Tarrio just yesterday, hours before he was picked up by authorities.

"We were hanging out last night at the Trump National Doral having a meeting," the Proud Boy says. "He had no idea this was gonna happen."

Tarrio is the latest far-right leader to be indicted for an alleged role in coordinating the insurrection. In January, Stewart Rhodes, leader of the militant group the Oath Keepers, was arrested and charged with seditious conspiracy as part of the FBI’s investigation into the incident. (Rhodes was present at the Capitol during the riot.)

In December, while Tarrio was still in custody at the D.C. detention center, the U.S. House of Representatives select committee to investigate the January 6 attack on the Capitol subpoenaed him for bank and phone records covering the months leading up to the insurrection, including any communications he may have had with then-president Trump and his family.

At the time, he likened all the subpoenas and indictments against him as a "war of attrition."

When he was released from jail, Tarrio told New Times that he would be stepping back from Proud Boys leadership to start a new organization.