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Proud Boys leader pleads guilty to vandalism of historically Black church in DC

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A leader of the far-right group the Proud Boys has pleaded guilty to vandalizing a historically black church in Washington, D.C., in December, according to the Department of Justice (DOJ).

In a Monday statement, authorities said Henry “Enrique” Tarrio has pleaded guilty to one count of destruction of property and one count of attempted possession of a large-capacity ammunition feeding device. 

According to the DOJ, Tarrio and other Proud Boys members on Dec. 12 stole a Black Lives Matter banner from the Asbury United Methodist Church before burning it.

Tarrio shared posts of himself and others burning the banner on his Parler account as well as admitting to the crime on social media comments and to multiple media outlets, the DOJ said. 

Tarrio, a 36-year-old Miami native, was arrested when he returned to Washington on Jan. 4. Authorities found two high-capacity firearm magazines, each with the Proud Boys insignia, in his possession at the time.

He faces a potential maximum sentence of 180 days imprisonment and/or a $1,000 fine for each offense. His sentencing is set for Aug. 23.

Tarrio has reportedly been a law enforcement informant since 2012, including aiding authorities in an investigation of a local gambling ring that resulted in the arrest and prosecution of 13 people. 

The Proud Boys, which is considered a terrorist organization in Canada, was involved in the Jan. 6 siege on the Capitol, which came two days after Tarrio’s arrest. Multiple members of the group have been charged over the riot.

Tags Black Lives Matter Capitol breach Capitol insurrection Henry “Enrique” Tarrio Jan. 6 capitol riot Proud Boys Washignton D.C. Washington D.C.
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