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Florida residents played major role in violence on January 6th

Of the 10 people convicted of seditious conspiracy, half of them are from Florida.
Capitol Riot Proud Boys
Posted at 4:22 PM, May 05, 2023
and last updated 2023-05-05 18:34:53-04

The latest convictions tied to violence at the Capitol on January 6th, show the major influence Florida residents played.

Thursday, a jury convicted four members of the far-right group the Proud Boys of seditious conspiracy, the most serious charge anyone has faced related to January 6th.

Enrique Tarrio, the alleged leader of the Proud Boys, from Miami-Dade County and Joseph Biggs from Volusia County were among the four convicted.
Prosecutors argued that they conspired to stop the peaceful transfer of power on January 6th by attacking the Capitol.

“It’s huge for the Department of Justice to be able to take those cases and run with them and then have that end result. It sends a message to someone who is trying to do something like this in the future,” said Dr. David Thomas, a criminology professor at Florida Gulf Coast University.

It’s a particularly big win in the conviction of Tarrio, who wasn’t even at the Capitol on January 6th. He was arrested two days earlier and ordered to leave the city, but investigators say he helped plan the violence.

“Make no mistake, we did this,” Tarrio sent in a message to other Proud Boys on January 6th, according to messages released by prosecutors.

“Basically, he’s the puppet master. He’s directed his people to go do something, to participate in this action. So, he becomes responsible for those actions,” Thomas said.

Thursday's verdict was the third time prosecutors garnered convictions for seditious conspiracy. The other two convictions were against members of the Oath Keepers and featured three other Florida residents, including David Moerschel of Charlotte County and Joseph Hackett of Sarasota County.

Of the 10 people convicted of seditious conspiracy, half of them are from Florida.
Florida also has more arrests related to January 6th than any other state in the country.

Defense attorneys in the Proud Boy case argued their clients were scapegoats and it was former President Donald Trump who incited the riot. Tarrio’s lawyers are already planning an appeal.

“We disagree with (the verdict), but we respect it. At this point in time we are currently drafting all of the appellate paperwork to proceed forward,” said Nayib Hasson, Tarrio’s attorney.

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