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Fmr. Proud Boys leader sentenced to 15 years in prison in Jan. 6 case

"Everyone should have showed up armed and taken the country back the right way," Zachary Rehl said in a message sent after Jan. 6.
Proud Boys member Zachary Rehl.
Posted at 7:52 AM, Sep 01, 2023
and last updated 2023-09-01 07:52:22-04

Zachary Rehl, a former Proud Boys leader, was sentenced to 15 years in prison for his role in the Jan. 6 Capitol insurrection.

On Thursday, Rehl, along with another Proud Boys member, Joseph Biggs, who was sentenced to 17 years, received the second and third longest sentences handed down yet in the Jan. 6, 2021, attack, in which far-right extremists stormed the Capitol in support of former President Donald Trump, who said the 2020 election was stolen from him.

Both men were convicted in May of seditious conspiracy, which means they conspired to overthrow the government, and were the first Proud Boys to receive sentencing from U.S. District Judge Timothy Kelly.

Prosecutors had originally asked for a 30-year prison sentence for Rehl, who was caught lying about spraying a chemical irritant at law enforcement officers on Jan. 6. He also led others into the Capitol, where he posed with the Proud Boys' hand gesture in a senator's office.

During the hearing, Kelly read some of the messages Rehl sent after Jan. 6, one of which said, "Everyone should have showed up armed and taken the country back the right way." The judge responded by saying, "I mean, my God," the Associated Press reported. 

Three other members of the Proud Boys are being sentenced in the coming days, including leader Enrique Tarrio.

Tarrio was originally set for sentencing Wednesday, but that hearing was rescheduled for Tuesday of next week. Prosecutors are recommending a 33-year sentence for Tarrio.

Additional reporting by The Associated Press.

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