Joseph Biggs, a former leader of the “Proud Boys” and a protester involved in the January 6th, 2021, events at the U.S. Capitol, has been given a 17-year sentence. This is one of the longest sentences among the over 1,000 people charged for their roles in the protest supporting then-President Donald Trump.
The only person with a longer sentence than Biggs is Stewart Rhodes, the founder of the “Oath Keepers,” who received 18 years in prison. The U.S. Justice Department had initially asked for a 33-year sentence for Biggs.
Biggs led a group of Proud Boys members who breached the Capitol Police cordons during the joint session of Congress to certify the 2020 election results. During his trial, he was found guilty of conspiracy.
Before his sentence was handed down, Biggs told the judge that he acknowledged his mistakes on that day but insisted he was not a terrorist. Biggs, 39, had served in the U.S. Army and later worked as a correspondent for the Infowars website.
The same judge will also sentence four other leaders of the Proud Boys, including Enrique Tarrio, with their sentencing dates staggered due to scheduling conflicts.
Four leaders were found guilty of “seditious conspiracy,” a rare charge dating back to the Civil War era. The fifth defendant, Dominic Pezzola, was acquitted of that charge but found guilty of other serious offenses.
Over 1,000 Americans have faced charges for their involvement in the January 6th events at the U.S. Capitol, with more than 600 already found guilty and sentenced.