The first Proud Boy accused by the United States government of conspiring to stop the certification of the 2020 election has been sentenced in Washington D.C.
Joe Biggs was given 17 years in prison by U.S. District Judge Timothy Kelly, who applied a terrorism enhancement requested by the Department of Justice.
Biggs and three other high-ranking members of the men’s organization were convicted of seditious conspiracy in May after a three-month trial.
“I know I messed up that day, but I’m not a terrorist,” Biggs said through emotion while addressing the court, per The Hill.
Biggs is an Army Veteran from Ormond Beach, Florida. He previously worked as a correspondent for InfoWars.
Kelly noted that Biggs had not intended to kill anyone on Jan. 6, 2021, but stressed the “need for deterrence.”
“What happened that day … it broke our tradition of the peaceful transfer of power, which is the most precious thing we had as Americans,” said Kelly during Biggs’s sentencing. “Notice I say had — we don’t have it anymore.”
Enrique Tarrio, the former head of the Proud Boys, was initially scheduled to be the first of the co-defendants to be sentenced on Aug. 30. The hearing was postponed until Sept. 5 after Kelly became sick. Proud Boy Ethan Nordean, whose sentencing trial was also delayed, will appear before Kelly on Sept. 1.
Zachary Rehl also appeared in court on Aug. 31 and became the second co-defendant to be sentenced. Kelly gave Rehl a 15-year sentence with an applied terrorism enhancement.
Rehl is a Marine Corps veteran and was the former Philadelphia Proud Boys chapter president. While addressing the court, Rehl said he let politics consume his life and called Jan. 6 a “despicable day.”
“I’m done with politics, done with peddling lies for other people who don’t care about me,” said Rehl while crying.
Both Biggs and Rehl were represented by attorney Norm Pattis, according to a courtroom journalist. Both men received sentences under the punishment requested by the prosecution.
Oath Keepers founder Stewart Rhodes has received the longest sentence in connection to the event of Jan. 6. The DOJ accused Rhodes, a Yale Law School alumnus, of leading efforts to enter the US Capitol. The 58-year-old was convicted in November of 2022 and is serving an 18-year sentence.
Rhodes declared himself a political prisoner during his sentencing hearing before Judge Amit Mehta of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia in May.
Rhodes, Tarrio, Rehl, and Biggs join over 600 people who have been sentenced in connection to the Capitol riot, 300 of whom are already in prison. The Department of Justice has brought federal charges against more than 1,000 people.