Two more Proud Boys leaders were sentenced to 18 and 10 years in prison, respectively, in connection with the attack on the US Congress building on January 6, 2021.
Ethan Nordean (32), who was sentenced to 18 years in prison, has the same sentence as the sentence handed down to Stewart Rhodes – the founder of another far-right militia – in May.
Dominic Pezzola (45), who was found guilty on lesser charges, was sentenced to 10 years in prison.
The sentences handed down by Judge Timothy Kelly in federal district court in Washington follow two other Proud Boys, Joe Biggs and Zachary Rehl, being sentenced to 17 and 15 years in prison, respectively.
Prosecutors described them as key figures in the onslaught by thousands who sought to violently overturn Joe Biden’s November 2020 election victory, after former Pres. Donald Trump has repeatedly claimed that there was massive fraud in the vote.
“The Proud Boys broke the American tradition of a peaceful democratic transfer of power when they wanted to prevent Joe Biden from being crowned the winner in the November 2020 presidential election,” Kelly said.
Among other things, the so-called Proud Boys were found guilty of conspiracy and the destruction of state property.
Just over two weeks before January 6, the Proud Boys “conspired to prevent, obstruct, and delay the certification of the Electoral College vote and to oppose by force the authority of the United States government,” the Department of Justice said in a statement.
Nordean and Pezzola expressed remorse before the sentencing. Nordean – who is called a head of the Proud Boys’ “ministry of self-defence” – blamed his own leadership.
However, according to witnesses in the courtroom, minutes after he was sentenced, Pezzola raised his fist and declared that “Trump won”.
The sentencing of the Proud Boys’ national chairman, Enrique Tarrio, is expected to take place on Tuesday. Tarrio incited the group to storm the Congress building at the time, but was never part of it himself because he was banned from entering the city due to a previous conviction.