DOJ Seeks To Extend Sentences Of Jan 6 Rioters

In court filings last week, Department of Justice prosecutors appealed the prison terms of four members of the Proud Boys who were convicted of sedition conspiracy for their roles in the January 6 riot at the Capitol, arguing that the sentences imposed were significantly shorter than what federal prosecutors recommended, the Associated Press reported.

Former Proud Boys leader Enrique Tarrio and three other Proud Boys members were sentenced by US District Judge Timothy Kelly to prison terms ranging from 15 to 22 years after they were convicted in May.

While Tarrio received the longest prison sentence of any January 6 defendant, 22 years, prosecutors in the case had recommended 33 years. Additionally, prosecutors recommended longer prison terms for Tarrio’s three co-defendants Joseph Biggs, 33 years, Zachary Rehl, 30 years, and Ethan Nordean, 27 years.

However, Judge Kelly sentenced Biggs to 17 years, Rehl to 15 years, and Nordean to 18 years.

Norm Pattis, the attorney for Joseph Biggs and Zachary Rehl, told the Associated Press that the Justice Department’s appeals are “ridiculous.” He suggested that Attorney General Merrick Garland needed “a new hobby horse.”

Federal prosecutors are also appealing the sentence for their co-defendant former Proud Boy Dominic Pezzola. While Pezolla was tried and convicted along with the other four Proud Boys, the jury acquitted him of the seditious conspiracy charge. Judge Kelly sentenced Pezolla to ten years, half of the time prosecutors recommended.

In July, the Department of Justice appealed the sentence handed down for Oath Keepers founder Stewart Rhodes along with the sentences imposed on his fellow Oath Keepers, including Florida chapter head Kelly Meggs who was sentenced to only 12 years.

US District Judge Amit Mehta sentenced Rhodes to 18 years while prosecutors sought 25 years.