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Proud Boys leader sentenced in Jan. 6 riot. What to know about his ties to Miami

Pedro Portal/pportal@miamiherald.com

Former Proud Boys leader Enrique Tarrio will be behind bars in a federal prison for decades after a federal judge in Washington D.C. sentenced him Tuesday to 22 years over his role in the Jan. 6, 2021 riot on Capitol Hill.

Tarrio, of Miami, was convicted in May of planning and orchestrating the white nationalist group’s assault on the U.S. Capitol after President Donald Trump lost the 2020 election. Prosecutors argued that Tarrio and his colleagues set up a “Ministry of Self Defense” and exchanged hundreds of encrypted text messages about their “1776 Returns” plan to “storm the Capitol” and ring in the new year with a “revolution.”

The prison sentence is lighter than the 33 years that prosecutors asked for, but is still the longest punishment faced so far by an defendant in a Jan. 6 case.

Here’s what to know about Tarrio and his ties to Miami.

1. He grew up in Miami

Tarrio, the son of Cuban immigrants, was raised in Miami’s Flagami neighborhood, according to the Miami New Times. His family is made up of conservative Catholics, some of whom are Cuban exiles with a strong distaste for leftism.

He went to school at Il Savior Academy in Sunset, which is now closed, but dropped out in 11th grade. Growing up, he skateboarded near a local laundromat and fished around the Blue Lagoon just south of Miami International Airport.

2. He founded a local Proud Boys chapter

Tarrio started the Vice City Proud Boys in 2018, according to the New Times. Members of the group, however, distanced themselves from Tarrio after Reuters uncovered that he had previously worked as an informant for federal law enforcement.

3. He has a criminal history in South Florida

In 2013, Tarrio pleaded guilty in a healthcare-related fraud case involving diabetic test strips and then assisted federal investigators in targeting a dozen other suspects. He served one year and four months in prison, which was a reduction of his original sentence of two years and six months.

Tarrio, shortly before the Capitol riot, pleaded guilty to charges of burning a stolen Black Lives Matter banner in Washington, D.C. and carrying firearms magazines at a Proud Boys rally for Trump. He was sentenced to five months and later returned to Miami. Due to this case, he wasn’t in Washington D.C. at the time of the riot.

Miami Herald staff writer Jay Weaver contributed to this report.