WASHINGTON, D.C. – The leader and four other members of the self-proclaimed “Ministry of Self Defense” chapter of the “Proud Boys” group have been charged in connection with a breach of the United States Capitol.
A federal grand jury in Washington, D.C., returned a superseding indictment Monday (June 6) that charged Henry “Enrique” Tarrio, 38, of Miami, and four other members of the “Proud Boys.”
The “Proud Boys” describe themselves as a “pro-Western fraternal organization for men who refuse to apologize for creating the modern world, aka Western Chauvinists,” according to authorities.
In December 2020, Tarrio, the “national chairman” of the organization, is accused of creating a special chapter called the “Ministry of Self Defense.” He and others conspired to prevent, hinder, and delay the certification of the Electoral College vote and use force to oppose the authority of the U.S. government, court records say.
On Jan. 6, 2021, the group led a crowd onto U.S. Capitol grounds and into the building, dismantling metal barricades, destroying property, breaching the building, and assaulting members of law enforcement, officials said.
“Their actions disrupted a joint session of the U.S. Congress convened to ascertain and count the electoral votes related to the presidential election,” a federal release says.
The other four members charged are Ethan Nordean, 31, of Auburn, Washington; Joseph Biggs, 38, of Ormond Beach, Florida; Zachary Rehl, 37, of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; and Dominic Pezzola, 44, of Rochester, New York.
These five members claimed credit for the breach on social media and in an encrypted chat room, officials said.
They were already facing seven charges each, but this indictment added two new charges: seditious conspiracy and conspiracy to prevent an officer from discharging any duties. Pezzola faces an additional robbery charge, according to authorities.
All five had previously been indicted and pleaded not guilty to the charges, officials said. They’re scheduled to appear for a hearing Thursday.
A sixth person -- Charles Donohoe, 34, of Kernersville, North Carolina -- was charged earlier with the ground and pleaded guilty on April 8, 2022, to conspiracy to obstruct an official proceeding and assaulting, resisting, or impeding officers.