Advertisement

2 members of far-right Proud Boys sentenced to prison in Jan. 6 insurrection

On Jan. 6, Proud Boys member Dominic Pezzola (pictured) was seen inside the U.S. Capitol having a 'victory smoke' during the insurrection that rocked D.C. that day, prosecutors said. On Friday, he was sentenced to 10 years in prison. Later in the day, his associate, Ethan Nordean, was sentenced to 18 years in prison for his participation in the riots. Photo courtesy of prosecutors' sentencing memo

Sept. 1 (UPI) -- On Friday, two members of the far-right Proud Boys were sentenced to prison for their roles in the Jan. 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol.

Dominic Pezzola, who used a police shield to smash a Capitol window during the Jan. 6 insurrection, was sentenced to 10 years in prison early Friday afternoon.

Later in the day, a leader of the Proud Boys, Ethan Nordean, was sentenced to 18 years in prison for his participation in the insurrection.

According to prosecutors, Nordean lead a group of about 200 rioters to the Capital Building and helped dismantle a barrier to help them gain access to the grounds.

Nordean's sentence is tied with the 18-year sentence that was given to Oath Keepers founder Steward Rhodes for the longest sentence handed down to a Jan. 6 rioter.

Dominic Pezzola, a Donald Trump supporter and member of the far-right Proud Boys group, was sentenced Friday to 10 years in prison for his role in the Jan. 6 insurrection at the Capitol. Photo courtesy of prosecutors' sentencing memo
Dominic Pezzola, a Donald Trump supporter and member of the far-right Proud Boys group, was sentenced Friday to 10 years in prison for his role in the Jan. 6 insurrection at the Capitol. Photo courtesy of prosecutors' sentencing memo

Prosecutors had wanted Pezzola to serve 20 years in prison and for Nordean to serve 27 years in prison.

Evidence that convicted Pezzola included videos of him smashing the window to gain entry into the U.S. Capitol. In his own Jan. 6 video, cited by prosecutors in their sentencing memo to the court, Pezzola said he and his supporters knew they could overtake the Capitol "if we just tried hard enough."

Minutes before sentencing Pezzola was nearly in tears, telling the judge he'd given up politics. But walking out of court after sentencing, he lifted his fist and shouted, "Trump won!"

U.S. District Judge Timothy Kelly said of Pezzola's actions during the Capitol riot, "It boggles my mind."

In addition to smashing the window, Pezzola posed for a photo holding the stolen police riot shield and another one having a "victory smoke" in the Capitol crypt.

Prosecutors said in the sentencing memo filed with the court that Pezzola assaulted a Capitol Police officer, forcefully robbed him of his shield and told others that they "better be [expletive] scared" because "we ain't stopping" as he smashed the window while Congress was in session.

Although he was acquitted of seditious conspiracy, Pezzola was convicted of several other felony counts, including assaulting officers, obstruction of an official proceeding and conspiracy to use force, intimidation or threats to prevent officers of the United States from discharging their duties.

"Dominic Pezzola should serve 20 years (240 months) in prison for his role in advancing a seditious conspiracy to oppose by force the lawful transfer of presidential power," prosecutors wrote. "Pezzola was an enthusiastic foot soldier in that conspiracy, and he was one of its most violent members on January 6, 2021."

Other Proud Boys were sentenced this week. Joseph Biggs and Zahcary Rehl were sentenced Thursday to 17 years and 15 years respectively for their roles in the Jan. 6 attack.

Enrique Tarrio, former leader of the Proud Boys, is due to be sentenced Tuesday.

At sentencing Friday, Tarrio's associate Nordean apologized for his actions and called the riot a "complete and utter tragedy."

"To anyone who I directly or even indirectly wronged, I'm sorry," Nordean told the court.

Prosecutor Jason McCullough called Nordean "the undisputed leader on the ground on Jan. 6."