Joe Biggs, a Proud Boys leader convicted of seditious conspiracy who the government says “served as an instigator and leader” during the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol, was sentenced to 17 years in federal prison on Thursday.
It is among the longest sentences in Capitol riot cases. The record is the 18-year sentence given to Oath Keepers founder Stewart Rhodes, also convicted of seditious conspiracy, after prosecutors sought 25 years in federal prison in his case.
The government sought 33 years for Biggs, an Army veteran who sustained a head injury in Iraq and then served as a correspondent for the conspiracy website Infowars. Prosecutors 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 handed down Biggs’ sentence. He ruled earlier in Thursday’s hearing that Biggs’ tearing down of a fence that stood between police and rioters qualified him for a terrorism sentencing enhancement sought by prosecutors. Destroying the fence was a “deliberate, meaningful step” that contributed to the disruption of the electoral vote count occurring in the Capitol, Kelly said.