WASHINGTON — A federal judge has ordered that the former national chairman of the right-wing Proud Boys organization remain held until his trial after his arrest and indictment in connection with the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the U.S. Capitol.
Releasing Enrique Tarrio before his trial would not reasonably ensure the safety of the community, U.S. District Judge Timothy Kelly of Washington, D.C., wrote in a ruling, denying Tarrio’s request for release awaiting trial. He ordered that Tarrio be held at a federal detention center in Miami. Tarrio was arrested in Florida in March.
Kelly said the charges were "very serious," involving an "alleged conspiracy to obstruct the certification of the Electoral College vote and thus to interfere with the peaceful transfer of power, one of our Nation’s crown jewels."
While he "was not physically present near the Capitol" on the day of the riot, Kelly wrote, "Tarrio’s alleged leadership and organizational role in the conspiracy — as well as his alleged experience using encrypted communications channels to conceal his activity from law enforcement — suggests that he has skill set, resources, and networks to plan similar challenges to the lawful functioning of the United States government in the future."
Kelly's ruling upheld the decision of a federal magistrate judge in Florida, who ruled in March that no conditions of release could ensure public safety.
Video recorded by a documentary crew in a parking garage near the Capitol on the evening of Jan. 5 shows Tarrio speaking with Stewart Rhodes, the founder of the right-wing militia group the Oath Keepers. Rhodes and others have been charged with seditious conspiracy in connection with the Jan. 6 attack, and at least three members of the Oath Keepers have pleaded guilty to seditious conspiracy.
"Not much about the substance" of the meeting can be gleaned from the tapes, Kelly said, noting that "at one point, Tarrio and others motion for the filmmaker to stop."
Tarrio was previously sentenced to five months behind bars for burning a Black Lives Matter banner during a pro-Trump demonstration in Washington, D.C., in December 2020.