WASHINGTON — Former Proud Boys chairman Enrique Tarrio is asking a judge to reconsider letting him out of jail while he awaits trial – suggesting his family would be willing to put their homes on the line to secure his release.
In a new filing Monday, Tarrio – who was indicted last month on six counts alleging he and other Proud Boys conspired to disrupt the joint session of Congress on Jan. 6 – says a “multitude” of family members would be willing to put up collateral to secure a $1 million bond.
A federal magistrate judge denied Tarrio bond on March 15 and ordered him held while he awaits trial. A status hearing was set for Thursday afternoon to determine a new date for the trial, which will include Tarrio and five other alleged members of the Proud Boys’ “Ministry of Self-Defense” leadership group on Jan. 6. That includes New York Proud Boy Dominic Pezzola, who’s accused of being the first rioter to smash a window leading into the U.S. Capitol Building.
Tarrio, who was released from D.C. Jail in January after serving five months for bringing illegal high-capacity magazines into the District, argues his previous criminal history shows he’s not a flight risk. Tarrio was granted bond for more than half a year in that case and, he says, complied with all of the release and probation conditions from other arrests. Tarrio’s attorney also said his client now opposes the assault on the Capitol.
“Since the Jan. 6 events, Mr. Tarrio has stated that he believes the individuals were committing a law violation of some sort of another,” attorney Nayib Hassan wrote.
In their memo arguing for pretrial detention, however, prosecutors said Tarrio’s criminal history was exactly why he should be held behind bars. They argued after his arrest on Jan. 4 – just two days before the riot – he “repeatedly assured others that he had taken all necessary steps to prevent law enforcement from gaining access to encrypted messages on his phone.” Upon his release, they say he resumed control of the Proud Boys’ encrypted chat and took credit for the “successful attack on the Capitol.”
Prosecutors said Tarrio has paid almost nothing of the $1.2 million in restitution he and other defendants owe from a 2013 conviction for reselling stolen diabetic test strips manufactured by Abbott Laboratories. Tarrio pleaded guilty in that cases and was sentenced to 30 months in prison – although he only served 16. As of his arrest in March, the Justice Department said, he had only paid $1,879 of that $1.2 million.
Tarrio isn’t the first Capitol riot defendant to propose a hefty bond to get out of jail. His co-defendant, Proud Boys leader Ethan Nordean, suggested a similar $1 million bond after he was put back in jail following his indictment on conspiracy charges. And another defendant accused of assaulting police on Jan. 6, Julian Khater, said his family was willing to put up $1.5 million in collateral to get him out of jail. Both of their requests for bond were denied.
Tarrio and other defendants in the Proud Boys conspiracy case were scheduled to appear next before U.S. District Judge Timothy Kelly on Thursday for a status hearing.
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