(GoRealNewsNow.com) – Joseph Biggs, previously associated with the far-right Proud Boys organization, received a 17-year prison sentence on Thursday for his role in orchestrating an assault on the U.S. Capitol.
Biggs’ 17-year sentence is the second most severe among the Capitol riot cases, just after the 18-year sentence given to Stewart Rhodes, the Oath Keepers founder.
Although federal prosecutors had proposed a 33-year sentence for Biggs, he was eventually sentenced for leading numerous Proud Boys to the Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021. Alongside other members of his group, Biggs was a part of the crowd that surpassed the police barriers and made lawmakers evacuate, disrupting Congress’s session, which was meant to confirm Biden’s electoral win.
While addressing the judge, Biggs stated, “I know that I messed up that day, but I’m not a terrorist.”
The same judge is set to give sentences to four additional Proud Boys who were found guilty in May following a Washington, D.C. trial lasting four months.
Enrique Tarrio, the former national chairman of the Proud Boys, has his sentencing scheduled for Tuesday. His sentencing from Wednesday was postponed because U.S. District Judge Timothy Kelly fell ill.
It’s worth noting that Tarrio was not present in Washington on Jan. 6. He was arrested two days before the riot for allegedly vandalizing a Black Lives Matter banner during a previous demonstration in D.C. Following his arrest, he was instructed by a judge to depart from the city. In his absence, he designated Biggs and Ethan Nordean, the Proud Boys chapter president, as the acting leaders, as informed by the prosecutors.
Residing in Ormond Beach, Florida, Biggs identified himself as a Proud Boys organizer. His past includes an eight-year tenure in the U.S. Army, which concluded with a medical discharge in 2013. He later joined Infowars, Alex Jones’ conspiracy-driven website, as a correspondent.
Biggs, alongside Tarrio, Nordean, and Zachary Rehl, a chapter leader of the Proud Boys, were found guilty of various charges, including seditious conspiracy, an infrequently used charge from the Civil War era. Dominic Pezzola, another member, was cleared of seditious conspiracy but found guilty of other grave charges.
Prosecutors have suggested 33 years for Tarrio, 30 years for Rehl, 27 years for Nordean, and 20 years for Pezzola. Rehl’s sentence is expected later on Thursday, while Pezzola and Nordean are set to be sentenced on Friday.
Defense teams have voiced their concerns, stating that their clients are being unjustly blamed for the violent acts committed by other Trump supporters present at the Capitol.
To date, over 1,100 individuals face charges linked to the Capitol riot, with over 600 having been convicted and sentenced.
In addition to Rhodes, six members of the anti-government group Oath Keepers were convicted of seditious conspiracy in a distinct trial held last year.