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Former Proud Boys leader charged in January 6 investigation

The indictment also referred to a curious meeting Mr Tarrio had with Mr Rhodes, the leader of the Oath Keepers, and others the day before the attack in an underground car park near the Phoenix Park Hotel , outside Union Station.

While some meeting attendees claimed it was an unscheduled gathering largely to ensure Mr. Tarrio had legal representation as he left Washington in accordance with the judge’s order, prosecutors said somewhat cryptically in their indictment that a participant “made reference to the Capitol.”

The meeting was not the first time the government had claimed there were links between the Proud Boys and the Oath Keepers. In earlier court documents, prosecutors said that around Christmas 2020, one of Mr. Rhodes’ Florida lieutenants, Kelly Meggs, contacted Mr. Tarrio and later told his compatriots in the militia that the Proud Boys could act as a “force multiplier” on January 6.

Mr Tarrio, 38, was taken into custody in his hometown of Miami on Tuesday morning and was due in court later in the day.

Prosecutors chose to add it to a preexisting case in which four other Proud Boys leaders – Ethan Nordean, Joseph Biggs, Charles Donohoe and Zachary Rehl – ​​had already been named. The new indictment also added a man accused of being a Proud Boys infantryman, Dominic Pezzola, who had already been charged in a separate case.

Mr. Pezzola, a former Marine from Rochester, NY, was best known for coming into prominence during former President Donald J. Trump’s second impeachment trial when House managers released video of him smashing a Capitol window with a stolen police riot shield. . More than 20 other Proud Boys members have been charged in connection with the attack on the Capitol, and many more who took part in the assault remain at large.

As the Proud Boys moved past their December rally and began to focus on Jan. 6, Mr. Tarrio and more than 60 other leaders and members organized themselves into a core group they called “the Ministry of Self-Defense.” “, according to the indictment. They arranged to travel to Washington from cities across the country and used their private Telegram chat to make various statements “about the attack on the Capitol,” prosecutors said.