Proud Boys leader Enrique Tarrio outed as long-time FBI informant

Miami, Florida – Henry "Enrique" Tarrio, leader of the far-right extremist group Proud Boys, has a long history with the law – but not necessarily in the way you might think.

Proud Boys leader Enrique Tarrio (36) served as a "prolific" informant starting in 2012.
Proud Boys leader Enrique Tarrio (36) served as a "prolific" informant starting in 2012.  © IMAGO / MediaPunch

Tarrio (36) has a legacy serving as a police and FBI informant, the transcript of a 2014 court proceeding obtained by Reuters reveals.

In 2012, Tarrio was arrested for selling stolen diabetes test kits. He reportedly began a close collaboration with law enforcement afterwards, working undercover to prosecute at least 13 people on federal charges as well as assisting local police on various cases.

FBI representatives said Tarrio has helped them put people behind bars for charges related to gambling, drugs, and human smuggling. His instances of aiding criminal investigations have been described as "prolific."

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When confronted by these allegations, Tarrio denied his involvement, saying, "I don’t recall any of this."

However, Tarrio's former attorney, Vanessa Singh Johannes, confirmed the reports: "he cooperated with local and federal law enforcement, to aid in the prosecution of those running other, separate criminal enterprises, ranging from running marijuana grow houses in Miami to operating pharmaceutical fraud schemes."

Notably, his 2012 sentence was reduced from 30 to just 16 months – perhaps as a reward for aiding authorities?

Enrique Tarrio was released from jail one day before the Capitol riot

Tarrio (c.) marches with fellow Proud Boys during a December demonstration to overturn the 2020 presidential election results.
Tarrio (c.) marches with fellow Proud Boys during a December demonstration to overturn the 2020 presidential election results.  © IMAGO / ZUMA Wire

Tarrio has been catapulted into the national spotlight as chairman of the Proud Boys, a violent far-right group holding white supremacist and anti-immigrant views.

The Proud Boys are currently under investigation for their role in the Capitol riots, and several members, including leader Joseph Biggs, have already been arrested for their involvement.

Tarrio recently had his own brush with the law. On January 4, he was arrested in Washington DC for burning a Black Lives Matter banner outside the Asbury United Methodist Church during a December demonstration. He was released from jail one day later.

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Tarrio was not present during the Capitol attack, as he had been ordered to stay out of Washington DC following his arrest.

Could his past history as an informant have anything to do with his early release?

Cover photo: IMAGO / MediaPunch

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