Very pleased Boys leader ‘prolific’ snitch for regulation enforcement: Reuters

Henry “Enrique” Tarrio, the chief of the Happy Boys extremist group, has a previous as an informer for federal and local law enforcement, repeatedly performing undercover for investigators just after he was arrested in 2012, in accordance to a former prosecutor and a transcript of a 2014 federal court continuing received by Reuters.

a man wearing a hat and sunglasses: Enrique Tarrio rallies with Proud Boys in support of then-US President Donald Trump to protest against the results of the 2020 presidential election on November 14, 2020 [File: Hannah McKay/Reuters]

© Enrique Tarrio rallies with Happy Boys in support of then-US President Donald Trump to protest yet again…
Enrique Tarrio rallies with Very pleased Boys in support of then-US President Donald Trump to protest in opposition to the final results of the 2020 presidential election on November 14, 2020 [File: Hannah McKay/Reuters]

Court docket data viewed by Al Jazeera display Tarrio been given a lighter sentence under Federal Rule of Legal Treatment 35(b)(2)(B). This rule claims: “if the governing administration believes that a sentenced defendant has presented sizeable assistance in investigating or prosecuting an additional person, it may well shift the court to lessen the primary sentence.”


In the Miami hearing, a federal prosecutor, a Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) agent and Tarrio’s individual lawyer explained his undercover perform and reported he had aided authorities prosecute extra than a dozen men and women in numerous situations involving medicine, gambling and human smuggling.

Tarrio, in an interview with Reuters on Tuesday, denied doing work undercover or cooperating in scenarios in opposition to other individuals. “I really do not know any of this,” he mentioned, when asked about the transcript. “I never remember any of this.”

Regulation-enforcement officials and the court docket transcript contradict Tarrio’s denial.

In a assertion to Reuters, the previous federal prosecutor in Tarrio’s case, Vanessa Singh Johannes, confirmed that “he cooperated with regional and federal regulation enforcement, to aid in the prosecution of individuals managing other, different criminal enterprises, ranging from managing cannabis expand houses in Miami to functioning pharmaceutical fraud schemes”.

Tarrio, 36, is a high-profile determine who organises and potential customers the much-proper Happy Boys in their confrontations with all those they believe that to be Antifa, limited for “anti-fascists,” an amorphous leftist motion that usually takes advantage of violence in confrontations with significantly-right protesters.

The Happy Boys had been involved in the deadly insurrection at the Capitol on January 6.

The documents uncovered by Reuters are startling simply because they demonstrate that a chief of a much-appropriate group now beneath powerful scrutiny by regulation enforcement was earlier an energetic collaborator with prison investigators.

Washington police arrested Tarrio in early January when he arrived in the city two times in advance of the Capitol Hill riot. He was billed with possessing two higher-ability rifle magazines, and burning a Black Lives Make any difference banner during a December demonstration by supporters of former President Donald Trump. The District of Columbia Superior Courtroom purchased him to leave the city pending a courtroom date in June.

Even though Tarrio did not choose section in the Capitol insurrection, at minimum 5 Proud Boys members have been billed in the riot. The FBI formerly mentioned Tarrio’s earlier arrest was an energy to pre-empt the situations of January 6.

Previous connections

The transcript from 2014 shines a new light-weight on Tarrio’s previous connections to regulation enforcement. Throughout the listening to, the prosecutor and Tarrio’s defence law firm requested a judge to decrease the prison sentence of Tarrio and two co-defendants. They had pleaded guilty in a fraud situation related to the relabelling and sale of stolen diabetes test kits.

The prosecutor mentioned Tarrio’s facts experienced led to the prosecution of 13 persons on federal costs in two different scenarios, and experienced helped regional authorities look into a gambling ring.

Tarrio’s then-lawyer Jeffrey Feiler claimed in court that his client had worked undercover in many investigations, one involving the sale of anabolic steroids, an additional about “wholesale prescription narcotics” and a 3rd targeting human smuggling. He mentioned Tarrio aided police uncover a few marijuana grow houses, and was a “prolific” cooperator.

In the smuggling case, Tarrio, “at his own risk, in an undercover function fulfilled and negotiated to pay $11,000 to members of that ring to provide in fictitious relatives members of his from another state,” the attorney stated in courtroom.

In an interview with Reuters, Feiler explained he did not remember details about the scenario but added, “The information and facts I supplied to the court docket was based on details presented to me by regulation enforcement and the prosecutor.”

An FBI agent at the hearing named Tarrio a “key component” in neighborhood law enforcement investigations involving marijuana, cocaine and MDMA, or ecstasy. The Miami FBI place of work declined Reuters’ request for remark.

There is no evidence Tarrio has cooperated with authorities given that then. In interviews with Reuters, even so, he claimed that prior to rallies in several cities, he would enable law enforcement departments know of the Very pleased Boys’ options.

It is unclear if this was actually the circumstance. He said he stopped this coordination after December 12 due to the fact the DC law enforcement experienced cracked down on the team.

Tarrio on Tuesday acknowledged that his fraud sentence was diminished, from 30 months to 16 months, but insisted that leniency was offered only since he and his co-defendants helped investigators “clear up” thoughts about his very own case. He said he never served examine other individuals.

That remark contrasts with statements built in courtroom by the prosecutor, his attorney and the FBI. The judge in the situation, Joan A. Lenard, claimed Tarrio “provided substantial help in the investigation and prosecution of other individuals included in criminal perform.”

As Trump supporters challenged the Republican’s election decline in often violent demonstrations, Tarrio stood out for his swagger as he led crowds of generally white Happy Boys in a series of confrontations and avenue brawls in Washington, DC, Portland, Oregon and elsewhere.


The Very pleased Boys, established in 2016, started as a group protesting from political correctness and perceived constraints on masculinity. It grew into a group with unique colours of yellow and black that embraced avenue combating. In September their profile soared when Trump identified as on them to “Stand back again and stand by”.

Tarrio, based mostly in Miami, grew to become the countrywide chairman of the team in 2018.

In November and December, Tarrio led the Proud Boys via the streets of DC after Trump’s decline. Online video reveals him on December 11 with a bullhorn in entrance of a large group. “To the parasites both in Congress, and in that stolen White Dwelling,” he mentioned. “You want a war, you got a single!” The crowd roared. The upcoming day Tarrio burned the BLM banner.

Previous prosecutor Johannes reported she was shocked that the defendant she prosecuted for fraud is now a key participant in the violent movement that sought to halt the certification of President Joe Biden.

“I understood that he was a fraudster – but had no explanation to know that he was also a domestic terrorist,” she stated.

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