On Monday, the Department of Justice (DOJ) prosecutors filed a notice of appeal for the sentencing of former leader Enrique Tarrio and members Zachary Rehl, Ethan Nordean, Joseph Biggs, and Dominic Pezzola. Prosecutors had initially sought longer sentences for each individual; Tarrio for 33 years in prison, Rehl for 30, Nordean for 27, Biggs for 33, and Pezzola for 20.
However after they were convicted in May of seditious conspiracy against the United States government District Judge Tim Kelly appointed by former President Donald Trump sentenced Tarrio to 22 years in prison, Rehl to 15 years imprisonment, Nordean to 18 and Biggs to 17.
Pezzola who was acquitted of seditious conspiracy but convicted on other felony charges was handed a sentence of 10 years.
“The defendants are not terrorists,” he explained. “Whatever excesses of zeal they demonstrated on January 6, 2021, and no matter how grave the potential interference with the orderly transfer of power due to the events of that day, a decade or more behind bars is an excessive punishment.”
Nordean’s attorney, Nicholas Smith, stated that his client “is encouraged by the government’s agreement that errors led to the judgment and sentence in his case.”
“They unleashed a force on the Capitol that was calculated to exert their political will on elected officials by force and to undo the results of a democratic election,” DOJ prosecutors previously stated in court filings regarding the Proud Boys members. “The foot soldiers of the right aimed to keep their leader in power. They failed. They are not heroes; they are criminals.”
The Department of Justice (DOJ) has filed an appeal against the 18-year sentence for Stewart Rhodes, founder of the Oath Keepers, who was convicted of seditious conspiracy in a separate January 6 case.
Prosecutors had sought 25 years in prison. The Daily Caller News Foundation reported that Patty Hartman, Supervisory Public Affairs Specialist for the United States Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia, confirmed that this action is “merely preserving our right to appeal.”
More than 1,100 individuals have been charged with federal crimes associated with the January 6th protest at the Capitol – making it one of the largest investigations conducted by DOJ in US history.