Enrique Tarrio, leader of the extremist group Proud Boys, was a former federal and local law enforcement informant who repeatedly worked undercover for investigators after his arrest in 2012. That’s according to court documents from a 2014 case.
At a hearing in Miami, a federal prosecutor, a Federal Bureau of Investigation agent and Tarrio’s own attorney described his undercover work and said he helped authorities prosecute more than a dozen people in various cases involving drugs, gambling and human trafficking. Tarrio, in an interview with Reuters on Tuesday, denied working undercover or cooperating in cases against others. “I don’t know any of that. I don’t remember anything,” he said when asked about it.
In a statement to Reuters, former federal prosecutor in the Tarrio case Vanessa Singh Johannes confirmed that the Proud Boys leader worked as an informant to “identify those involved in individual criminal enterprises ranging from marijuana cultivation in Miami to active pharmaceutical fraud schemes.”
The Proud Boys were involved in the attempted takeover of the Capitol on January 6. The leader of the far-right group, is now under the close scrutiny of law enforcement. Washington police arrested Tarrio in early January when he arrived in the city two days before the Capitol Hill riots. He was charged with possession of two weapons and burning a Black Lives Matter poster.