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Proud Boys leader pleads guilty to seditious conspiracy over Jan. 6 actions

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Proud Boys leader pleads guilty to sedition charges

A lieutenant of longtime former Proud Boys chairman Henry “Enrique” Tarrio became the group’s first member to plead guilty to seditious conspiracy in the Jan. 6 Capitol riot on Thursday, deepening the government’s case against an organization accused of mobilizing violence to prevent the inauguration of Joe Biden.

Jeremy Bertino, 43, of Belmont, N.C., becomes a potential key witness for the Justice Department against Tarrio and four other Proud Boys leaders, some of whom had ties to influential supporters of President Donald Trump. The five Proud Boys defendants are set to face trial in December on charges including plotting to oppose by force the presidential transition, culminating in the Jan. 6, 2021, attack at the Capitol.

At a hearing before U.S. District Judge Timothy J. Kelly in Washington, Bertino pleaded guilty to that count and to one count of illegal possession of firearms as a formerly convicted felon, punishable by 51 to 63 months in prison at sentencing under advisory federal guidelines, prosecutors said.

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