Proud Boys leader was ‘prolific’ informant for the FBI, report says

Enrique Tarrio insists he doesn’t ‘recall’ taking part in any undercover work

Graeme Massie
Los Angeles
Wednesday 27 January 2021 20:46 GMT
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Trump refuses to denounce white supremacism and instead tells Proud Boys to ‘stand back and stand by' Trump refuses to denounce white supremacism and instead tells Proud Boys to ‘stand back and stand by'

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The leader of the far-right Proud Boys group was a “prolific” informer for federal and local law enforcement, reports say.

Enrique Tarrio worked undercover for authorities after he was arrested in 2012, according to a 2014 federal court document obtained by Reuters.

During a Miami court hearing a federal prosecutor, an FBI agent and Mr Tarrio’s lawyer described his work for law enforcement and said that he had helped convict more than a dozen people in drugs, gambling and human smuggling cases.

“I don’t know any of this. I don’t recall any of this,” Mr Tarrio told Reuters when asked about his undercover work.

He has become an increasingly high-profile figure as his violent group gained an elevated profile during the Trump administration.

The ex-president infamously told the group to “stand back and stand by” when asked to denounce them during a presidential debate last September.

They have been involved in a string of high-profile clashes in Washington DC, including the 6 January pro-Trump Capitol riot.

Mr Tarrio posted a picture of himself outside the White House in December and claimed he had been “invited” there, but officials denied it and said he took a public tour of the building.

He was arrested in Washington DC in January two days before the riot and charged with possession of two high-capacity rifle magazines, and setting fire to a Black Lives Matter banner during a December pro-Trump demonstration in the city.

Mr Tarrio was ordered to leave the city and has a June court date.

During the 2014 court case Reuters says that Mr Tarrio’s lawyer and prosecutors asked a judge to reduce his prison sentence after he and two defendants pleaded guilty in a fraud case related to stolen diabetes test kits.

The prosecutor told the judge that Mr Tarrio had provided information that resulted in the prosecution of 13 people on federal charges in two cases.

His then lawyer, Jeffrey Feiler, then told the court that his client had worked undercover in a number of investigations, including into the sale of steroids, prescription narcotics and human smuggling.

The attorney also stated that Mr Tarrio also helped police uncover three marijuana growing houses and had been a “prolific” cooperator.

Mr Tarrio told Reuters his prison sentence had been reduced from 30 months to 16 months, but only because he helped “clear up” details in his own case.

Reuters contributed to this story

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