Two former leaders of the right-wing Proud Boys gang were sentenced Thursday for their actions during the January 6 insurrection, with the judge handing down some of the longest sentences yet for people involved in the 2021 attack on the U.S. Capitol. Joseph Biggs, the former leader of the group’s Florida chapter, was sentenced to 17 years in federal prison. Zachary Rehl, the former leader of the Philadelphia chapter, received 15 years. The two men were convicted in May of seditious conspiracy and other charges alongside other Proud Boys leaders, including the group’s former national chair, Enrique Tarrio, who is expected to be sentenced next week. The heavy sentences show that the Justice Department and the judge in the case viewed the Proud Boys as “top organizers, planners and executors of the riots on January 6,” says HuffPost senior editor Andy Campbell, who has written a book about the Proud Boys. He also notes that Proud Boys leaders had close ties to top Trump allies, suggesting Trump was aware of the possibility of violence on January 6 when he urged his supporters to march on the Capitol. “We have an engrained extremist crisis at the highest levels of government on the right.”
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