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Four members of the Proud Boys, including their leader Enrique Tarrio, were found guilty for their roles in the January 6 insurrection.

On Thursday (May 4), Enrique “Henry” Tarrio along with three other members – Ethan Nordean, Joseph Biggs and Zachary Rehl – of the far-right group were convicted of seditious conspiracy in a federal courtroom in Washington, D.C. A fifth defendant, Dominic Pezzola, was found not guilty of seditious conspiracy but was convicted on other serious charges. Each conspiracy count could net each defendant up to 20 years maximum in prison, and in addition to the other charges the sentences could be up to 50 years. Lawyers for the defendants declined to comment to reporters after the verdicts were announced.

“Today’s verdicts make clear that the Justice Department will do everything in its power to defend the American people and American democracy,” Attorney General Merrick Garland said in a statement after the verdicts, adding: “Our work will continue.” Garland also noted that the Department of Justice has successfully procured over 600 convictions for violent conduct related to January 6.

The case was the last of three that federal prosecutors brought against key figures involved in the attack on the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021. The convictions are significant as the charges for sedition have been rarely used since the Civil War to protect the federal government from secessionists. In two previous trials against members of the far-right Oath Keepers militia, six of the nine on trial were convicted of sedition including the group’s founder, Stewart Rhodes. Sentencing for those convicted from those two trials will take place later this month.

The verdicts also add greater strength to any case that would be brought against former President Donald Trump by Special Counsel Jack Smith, who has been steadily compiling information concerning his role in the January 6 insurrection and handling volumes of highly classified information after leaving the White House.

The Proud Boys “lined up behind Donald Trump and [were] willing to commit violence on his behalf,” said prosecutor Conor Mulroe in his closing argument to the jury. Hundreds of text messages submitted as evidence between Tarrio and other members leading up to the attack and supporting Trump’s false claims about the 2020 presidential election were corroborated by former members and witnesses for the prosecution, Jeremy Bertino and Matthew Greene.