Proud Boys member pleads guilty to seditious conspiracy

A member of the Proud Boys has pleaded guilty to two charges, including seditious conspiracy and unlawful possession of a firearm, for his role in the Jan. 6 assault on the Capitol.

This makes Jeremy Bertino the first member of the Proud Boys, a far-right group, to plead guilty to seditious conspiracy.

The defendant will cooperate with and possibly provide testimony against five other members of the Proud Boys, including their leader Enrique Tarrío, who has already been charged with seditious conspiracy. His trial is scheduled for December.

During a House Committee hearing, lawmakers showed a video of Bertino saying that former President Donald Trump’s comments about the group tripled its membership in 2020.

Accused of sedition the leader of Proud Boys, the Cuban-American Enrique Tarrío

Like Tarrío, Bertino is not alleged to have participated in the actual attack on the Capitol. But in his statement he admitted to helping plan their operations before Jan. 6 and sending messages of encouragement to members as they stormed the Capitol, even urging them not to leave the building.

Bertino, a previously convicted felon, faces a possible maximum sentence of 20 years in prison and a maximum fine of $250,000, along with the obligation to pay untimely fine or restitution, on his seditious conspiracy charge.

On the charge of unlawful possession of a firearm, he faces a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison. The court estimates that he will be sentenced to 51 to 63 months in prison and a fine of $20,000 to $200,000.

As a result of his cooperation, the government has considered reducing his sentence. Bertino will be sentenced on February 2, 2023.

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