© Amy Harris/ShutterstockEnrique Tarrio
Former Proud Boys leader Henry "Enrique" Tarrio was sentenced Tuesday to 22 years behind bars for taking a lead role Jan. 6 Capitol riot — the stiffest punishment doled out in the series of cases.

Tarrio, 39, the former national chairman of the far-right extremist group, was convicted in May by a Washington, DC jury of seditious conspiracy for working with others to try to block the transfer of power in order to keep Republican President Donald Trump in office after he lost the 2020 election.

Judge Timothy Kelly handed down the hefty prison term at an hours-long sentencing hearing Tuesday finding that a harsh penalty was needed to stop others from attempting similar crimes. "It can't happen again," Kelly said, before repeating, "It can't happen again."

As Tarrio's fate was laid out by the judge, the former Proud Boy momentarily hung his head in shame.

Comment: Was it shame? or disbelief!

Earlier in the hearing, Tarrio — wearing orange jail clothes — pleaded for leniency and promised he was done with politics, calling the events of Jan. 6 a "national embarrassment."

The seemingly remorseful Tarrio — whose voice broke up as he spoke — apologized to the officers who defended the Capitol, to the terrified lawmakers who ran from the building and to his family.
"I am not a political zealot. Inflicting harm or changing the results of the election was not my goal. Please show me mercy. I ask you that you not take my 40s from me."
DC federal prosecutor Conor Mulroe, earlier, said a 33-year term was necessary to deter others from trying to carry out another insurrection in the future.
"We need to make sure the consequences are abundantly clear to anyone who might be unhappy with the results of 2024, 2028, 2032 or any future election for as long as this case is remembered. This was a calculated act of terrorism."
Attorney for Tarrio, Nayib Hassan, said they would appeal the sentence.
"While we respect the courts sentence today, we respectfully disagree that this was an appropriate sentence. An appeal will be filed in this case on both the merits of the case and the sentence imposed."
The judge said Tarrio was driven by "revolutionary zeal" that ended with "200 men, amped up for battle, encircling the Capitol."

Kelly also expressed skepticism about Tarrio's remorse during the sentencing hearing, noting that he'd never previously shown public regret for what he did. Kelly sided with prosecutors that Tarrio's crimes should be handled like "terrorism" — which increased the federally recommended sentencing guidelines. But in the end, the judge still ordered a lesser penalty than what prosecutors wanted.

Attorney General Merrick B. Garland said in a statement:
"Today, the leader of the Proud Boys, Enrique Tarrio, learned that the consequence of conspiring to oppose by force the lawful transfer of presidential power is 22 years in federal prison."
While Tarrio, of Miami, wasn't in DC the day of the insurrection — after he was arrested two days prior and ordered to stay out of the city — prosecutors said he still organized and directed the attack.

Meanwhile, Tarrios' lawyers at trial tried to dispel arguments that there was a coordinated effort, painting the neo-fascist organization as a decentralized drinking club whose members launched an impromptu insurgency in fury over the election result.

On Friday, co-defendant and another Proud Boys leader Ethan Nordean, 32, was hit with 18 years in prison on a seditious conspiracy conviction — still less than the 27 years that prosecutors had been seeking.

"If we don't have a peaceful transfer of power in this country, we don't have anything," Kelly said at that sentencing.

Nordean's sentenced was tied with Oath Keepers founder Stewart Rhodes' prison term for the the longest doled out in the Capitol Riot cases.

Earlier in the day Friday, Dominic Pezzola, 45, was sentenced to a more lenient 10 years behind bars with Kelly, noting that Pezzola was acquitted on the seditious conspiracy charge but still convicted of serious crimes including assaulting police and obstructing an official proceeding.

"You personally played a significant role in the events that day," Kelly said at the time. "It was a national disgrace, what happened."

Over 1,100 people were charged for the involvement in the Capitol assault — with at least 630 pleading guilty and another 110 getting convicted at trial.

Five people were killed in the melee, including one police officer and over 140 cops were injured. The Capitol incurred millions of dollars worth of damage.

Trump, 77, was hit with federal charges for allegedly trying to stay in power after losing the election. The embattled former president faces four other criminal cases — including a Manhattan "hush money" case, a Florida documents case and a Georgia election interference case.

Trump has maintained his innocence on all of the charges.

Tarrio's lawyers didn't immediately return a request for comment Tuesday.