Joe Biggs, the commander of the Proud Boys, was given a sentence of 17 years for his role in the Capitol riot

One of the heaviest sentences that has been given down so far in connection with the incident in the United States Capitol was handed down to a leader of the far-right Proud Boys group.

Prosecutors allege that 38-year-old Joe Biggs, a veteran of the United States Army, was an instigator in the assault on Congress on January 6, 2021.

In May, the former Infowars correspondent was found guilty on multiple crimes, including one related to seditious conspiracy.

Biggs apologized for his behavior and appealed with the judge for leniency while he was in court.

The sentence, which was handed down by United States District Judge Timothy Kelly, is less than the federal sentencing guidelines as well as the 33 years that the prosecutors had requested.

Zachary Rehl, another member of the Proud Boys, was sentenced to 15 years in prison on Thursday for the same allegation of seditious conspiracy as the other Proud Boys members.

During the riot, a video captured Rehl, a former member of the United States Marine Corps and the commander of the Philadelphia chapter of the Proud Boys, pouring a chemical irritant at law enforcement officials outside the Capitol.

In May, a jury found Biggs guilty on a multitude of crimes, some of which included seditious conspiracy, intimidation or threats to prevent authorities from doing their jobs, and interference with law enforcement during civil unrest.

Prosecutors stated in a sentencing letter that Biggs “employed his military experience to direct and control large groups of men under his command” in order to lead a “revolt against the government.” Biggs was a veteran of the war in Iraq and a former correspondent for the conspiracy website Infowars.

“Biggs viewed himself and his movement as a second American revolution where he and the other ‘patriots’ would retake the government by force,” the letter stated.

Biggs, who was reduced to tears during his apology in court, stated that he had been “seduced” by the mob on the day of the disturbance, and that he was sorry for his acts.

“I just went one step further. “I couldn’t help but indulge my interest,” he explained further. “I am not a member of any terrorist organization. There is no place for hatred in my heart.

Biggs stated, “I know that I have to be punished, and I understand,” indicating that he was aware of this fact.

During the sentencing of Biggs, Judge Kelly stated that he was “not trying to minimize the violence,” but that the riot that occurred on January 6 was very minor in compared to other instances that had a large number of casualties. He went on to say that a more severe sentence could have resulted in a disparity between his punishment and that of other rioters who were found guilty.

Biggs was tried alongside four other members of the Proud Boys, including the former chair Enrique Tarrio, whose sentencing was unexpectedly delayed on Wednesday. The execution of his sentence is scheduled for the following week. The prosecution is asking for a sentence of thirty-three years in prison.

The participants in the case known as the Proud Boys have stated that they want to file an appeal against the conviction.

In court, the federal prosecutor Jason McCullough stated that the crimes were “very serious,” and that a harsh sentence would send a message in advance of the presidential election that will take place the following year.

“There is a reason why all of us will collectively hold our breath as we get closer and closer to future elections… They have brought this situation to the point where a constitutional catastrophe is almost inevitable,” he remarked.

Text messages, social media posts, and recordings were presented by the prosecution to prove that the Proud Boys were involved in a coordinated effort to thwart the certification of the 2020 election at the Capitol. This effort was intended to prevent the election results from becoming official.

As of the 6th of August, more than 1,100 people had been detained on accusations linked to the incident. Of those, over 630 people had pleaded guilty, and 110 people had been convicted.

In May, Stewart Rhodes, the founder of Oath Keepers and another notable participant in the riot, was given an 18-year prison sentence for his role in the incident.

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