By James Meyers
12:10 PM – Thursday, August 31, 2023
A former Proud Boys leader who was convicted of seditious conspiracy for his role in the January 6th protest was sentenced to 17 years in prison on Thursday.
Joseph Biggs, an Army veteran, received one of the longest sentences in all of the demonstration cases.
The January 6th committee was originally seeking 33 years for Biggs.
In the past, Biggs was injured in combat in Iraq during his years of service and he had later served as a correspondent on Alex Jones’ InfoWars website.
The committee argued that he was a “vocal leader and influential proponent of the group’s shift toward political violence” and used his “outsized public profile” and his military experience as he “led a revolt against the government in an effort to stop the peaceful transfer of power.”
U.S. District Judge Timothy Kelly, who handed down Biggs’ sentence, argued that his alleged tearing down of a fence that stood between police and rioters put him in the category of a terrorism sentencing enhancement sought by the January 6th committee.
The sentencing dates back to May when Biggs was convicted of seditious conspiracy, conspiracy to obstruct an official proceeding, obstruction of an official proceeding, conspiracy to use force, intimidation or threats to prevent officers of the U.S. from discharging their duties, interference with law enforcement during civil disorder and destruction of government property.
The Army veteran went on trial along with five other Proud Boy members, including Enrique Tarrio, Ethan Nordean, Zachary Rehl, and Dominic Pezzola.
The other members will be sentenced in the coming days with Rehl on Thursday, Nordean and Pezzola on Friday, and Tarrio on Tuesday.
Before he received his sentence, Biggs apologized for his role in the January 6th protest.
“I apologize for my rhetoric,” Biggs said, he used it as a way to cope with finding out his daughter was molested by a member of his family. “I’m so sorry, I’m not a terrorist, I don’t have hate in my heart.”
“I’m done with it. I’m sick and tired of left versus right,” Biggs said.
However, Biggs’ lawyer, Norm Pattis, said crimes had been committed by his client but that they were “overstated.”
“To treat these men as terrorists would be, in my view, the functional equivalent as the destruction of Waco,” Pattis said.
Judge Kelly ended the sentencing saying January 6th ruined the transfer of power from one President to another.
“What happened on January 6th harmed an important American custom that helps support the rule of law and the constitution,” he said. “That day broke our tradition of peacefully transferring power which is among the most precious things that we had as Americans. Notice I said had. We don’t have it anymore.”