(USNewsMag.com) – One of the leaders of the right-wing group the Proud Boys, Joe Biggs, was sentenced on Thursday to 17 years behind bars in federal prison for his participation in the Jan. 6 riot in Washington, D.C.
Biggs was charged with seditious conspiracy and accused by federal prosecutors of serving “as an instigator and leader” during the Capitol riot on January 6, 2021. Prosecutors described Biggs as a “vocal leader and influential proponent” of shifting the Proud Boys “toward political violence” by using his public image and experience in the military to lead “a revolt against the government” to try and “stop the peaceful transfer of power” from former President Donald Trump to President Joe Biden.
The 33-year-old is a U.S. Army veteran who received a Purple Heart after a head injury in Iraq. He’s also a former correspondent for the right-wing journalist organization Infowars, which was founded by political pundit Alex Jones.
Biggs’ was convicted in May. His sentence of 17 years handed out on Thursday is the second longest sentence to be handed out in a case related to Jan. 6, with Oath Keepers leader and founder Stewart Rhodes holding the record with 18 years. Federal prosecutors tried to get 25 years for Rhodes and 33 years for Biggs.
On trial alongside Biggs were five other Proud Boys members: Dominic Pezzola, Ethan Nordean, Zachary Rehl, and Enrique Tarrio, all of whom were convicted of multiple felonies. Except for Pezzola, the other four were convicted of seditious conspiracy. The last sentencing, which will be for Tarrio, will happen the day after Labor Day.
Biggs was deeply apologetic at his sentencing, apologizing for his “rhetoric” and stating that he’s “not a terrorist” and doesn’t have hate in his heart. He’s also a father, and he became emotional when mentioning his daughter.
So far, over 1,100 people have been hit with charges related to Jan. 6.
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