Proud Boys leader Enrique Tarrio pleads guilty in Black Lives Matter banner burning

  • Sentencing is scheduled for Aug. 23 before Judge Harold L. Cushenberry, Jr.
  • Tarrio posted a picture to social media showing himself holding an unlit lighter near the banner.
  • The Proud Boys leader was arrested Jan. 4 while on a phone call with a USA TODAY reporter.

WASHINGTON – Proud Boys leader Henry “Enrique” Tarrio pleaded guilty Monday to two charges, including one related to the burning of a Black Lives Matter banner, in an incident weeks before the Jan. 6 insurrection at the Capitol.

Tarrio, 37, of Miami, pleaded guilty in D.C. Superior Court to destruction of property, for burning a banner stolen from a Washington church, and attempted possession of a large-capacity ammunition feeding device.

Acting U.S. Attorney Channing Phillips and Metropolitan Police Chief Robert Contee III announced the pleas.

Each offense carries a maximum sentence of six months in prison and a $1,000 fine.

Sentencing is scheduled for Aug. 23 before Judge Harold L. Cushenberry, Jr.

Proud Boys chairman Enrique Tarrio rallies in Portland, Ore., in Aug. 2019.

The crime occurred on Dec. 12, when unidentified members of the Proud Boys stole a Black Lives Matter banner from Asbury United Methodist Church at 11th and K streets, according to the Justice Department. The group then burned the banner at a nearby intersection, the department said.

Tarrio posted a picture to his Parler social media account showing himself holding an unlit lighter near the banner and later admitted to burning the banner in social media comments and to numerous media outlets.

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Tarrio was arrested Jan. 4 while on a phone call with a USA TODAY reporter.

Police found two high-capacity firearms magazines in a search of Tarrio’s book bag when he was arrested, according to the Justice Department. During an interview with police, Tarrio said he was going to transfer the magazines to a customer who was also going to be in D.C., according to the department. 

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