Proud Boys Member Jeremy Bertino Becomes First To Plead Guilty To Seditious Conspiracy
Proud Boys member Jeremy Bertino became the first of the far-right group to plead guilty to seditious conspiracy on Thursday.
Bertino, who served as a lieutenant to the group’s leader Enrique Tarrio, is reportedly cooperating with the Justice Department’s investigation into the Oath Keepers’ involvement in the January 6, 2021, Capitol attack.
The plea agreement could land Bertino in prison for over five years, though he could see less time if he continues to cooperate. He also pleaded guilty to unlawful possession of a firearm by a prohibited person. His sentencing date has not yet been named and he will be allowed to remain free without a passport or firearms until then.
Reports say that Bertino was not in Washington, D.C., at the time of the Capitol breach as he was recovering from a stab wound from a different protest, but evidence suggests he was deeply involved in the planning process. Specifically, he was in the group chat titled, “Boots on Ground,” as were sedition defendants Tarrio, Joseph Biggs, Ethan Nordean and Zachary Rehl. They have all pleaded not guilty. Messages Bertino sent communicated details such as where the group should meet when they got to D.C. and what colors to wear.
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He also messaged Tarrio following the Capitol attack telling him, “Brother, you know we made this happen. I’m so proud of my country today … 1776 motherf–r.”
Bertino’s testimony could be highly important, especially as the Proud Boys’ seditious conspiracy trial is slated for December. A seditious conspiracy conviction could land an individual in prison for up to 20 years.
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