Henry "Enrique" Tarrio, the leader of the Proud Boys extremist group, has a past as an informer for federal and local law enforcement, repeatedly working undercover for investigators after he was arrested in 2012, according to a former prosecutor and a transcript of a 2014 federal court proceeding obtained by Reuters.
Tarrio, 36, is a high-profile figure who organizes and leads the rightwing Proud Boys in their confrontations with those they believe to be antifa, short for “anti-fascism”, an amorphous and often violent leftist movement. Tarrio, based in Miami, became the national chairman of the group in 2018. The Proud Boys were involved in the deadly insurrection at the Capitol on 6 January 2021.
In the Miami hearing, a federal prosecutor, a Federal Bureau of Investigation agent and Tarrio’s own lawyer described his undercover work and said he had helped authorities prosecute more than a dozen people in various cases involving drugs, gambling and human smuggling. He has denied working undercover or cooperating in cases against others.
Tarrio’s information led to the prosecution of 13 people on federal charges in two separate cases, and had helped local authorities investigate a gambling ring. An FBI agent called Tarrio a “key component” in local police investigations involving marijuana, cocaine and MDMA, or ecstasy.
Tarrio acknowledged that his fraud sentence was reduced, from 30 months to 16 months, but insisted that leniency was provided only because he and his co-defendants helped investigators “clear up” questions about his own case.