Henry “Enrique” Tarrio was released from jail in Washington, DC on Friday morning after serving four months and a week for torching a Black Lives Matter banner at a historic African-American church in the nation’s capital.
The DC Department of Corrections confirmed to USA TODAY that Tarrio has been released.
Tarrio called himself the “president” of the extremist group Proud Boys, an adjacent white supremacist gang known for its street fighting and property damage. His current role in the organization is unclear, and he said he plans to run for political office after returning to his hometown of Miami.
Last January, Tarrio was also charged with possession of high-caliber magazines, which are illegal in Washington, DC. He was arrested two days before the Jan.6 uprising on the U.S. Capitol and pleaded guilty in July and reached a deal with prosecutors. He was sentenced to five months in prison.
At least 37 members of the Proud Boys were arrested and charged for their actions on January 6, and four were charged with conspiracy.
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As Tarrio emerges, it is unknown if he still maintains a leadership role within the Proud Boys. Prior to his incarceration, he announced that he was “retiring” from the group. But Tarrio and other members of the Proud Boys continued to refer to him as president throughout his months in prison.
Gavin McInnes, who founded the Proud Boys, said last month he didn’t know who ran the band.
“I don’t know. Nobody knows,” McInness wrote in an email to USA TODAY.
The confusion can be intentional.
The day before his incarceration, Tarrio told Proud Boy researcher Samantha Kutner that he was considering resigning, but also that he planned to poke fun at reporters by telling them different versions of who ran the organization.
“The Proud Boys want to erode the trust of mainstream journalists and that would be an effective strategy to do so,” said Kutner, senior researcher at the Khalifa Ihler Institute, a think tank that studies approaches to countering extremism.
Tarrio’s role with the Proud Boys has come under fire since it was revealed last year that he had worked as a federal informant. Several chapters of the Proud Boys rejected Tarrio after these revelations, but no clear leader emerged in the months that followed.
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