WASHINGTON — A Proud Boy known within the far-right organization for his drinking and brawling skills has been sentenced to 18 years in federal prison for his role in the Capitol Riot, tied with the leader of the Oaths. Keepers for the longest sentence given to a defendant on January 6 so far.
Ethan Nordean was sentenced Friday by U.S. District Judge Timothy Kelly. Prosecutors had requested 27 years in prison for Nordean, who was convicted in May of seditious conspiracy and five other counts.
Prosecutors said the Proud Boy ‘led a force on Capitol Hill for the purpose of leading the fight against the people he considered to be ‘traitors’ who were stealing the election – the lawfully elected representatives of the people of the United States’ . Nordean, according to prosecutors, “presented himself as a man willing to inflict violence on anyone who opposes him” and “because he was known above all else” for his violence.
“As leader on January 6, Nordean played a pivotal role in sparking violence and destruction on the U.S. Capitol,” prosecutors said in a sentencing memo. “Nordean’s ability and willingness to lead others to engage in political violence, and its continued commitment to the same beliefs that animated that leadership and led to that violence on January 6, pose a continuing threat to our nation.”
Earlier Friday, Kelly sentenced one of Nordean’s co-defendants, Dominic Pezzola, who was acquitted of seditious conspiracy, to 10 years in federal prison. Joe Biggs was sentenced Thursday to 17 years in federal prison, while Zach Rehl was sentenced to 15 years in federal prison. Both were convicted of seditious conspiracy and other charges. On Tuesday, Kelly will sentence the latest co-defendant, former Proud Boys president Enrique Tarrio, who was also convicted of seditious conspiracy. Prosecutors are seeking 33 years in federal prison for Tarrio, the same sentence they sought for Biggs.
Addressing the court before his sentencing on Friday afternoon, Nordean apologized for not being a more responsible leader of the men he commanded on January 6 and said “there was no excuse” for what he had done.
“No matter how we all try to individually slice January 6, we have to conclude that it was a complete and utter tragedy,” Nordean said. “In my humble opinion, no political gathering or protest should be of value at the expense of human life. »
Nordean’s sister and wife also addressed the court, portraying a loving family man. Nordean remained calm throughout, but could be seen wiping away a tear after his wife finished speaking.
Pezzola, after being sentenced to 10 years in prison earlier on Friday, shouted “Trump won!” as he was being led out of court.
About 1,100 people have been arrested in connection with the January 6 attack on the US Capitol, and more than 300 have been incarcerated.
Nordean and Oath Keepers founder Stewart Rhodes now jointly holds the record for the longest sentence given on January 6. On Friday, Federal Bureau of Prisons records show that Rhodes is expected to be released on June 12, 2037, taking into account the time he has already served and credit for the good time.