WASHINGTON — F.B.I. brokers have arrested two organizers for the Proud Boys in Philadelphia and North Carolina and prosecutors filed new expenses in opposition to two different outstanding members of the far-right group in Florida and Washington State as federal authorities continued their crackdown on its management ranks, three regulation enforcement officers mentioned Wednesday.
With the brand new conspiracy indictment, prosecutors have now introduced expenses in opposition to a complete of 13 folks recognized in courtroom papers as members of the Proud Boys. Federal investigators have described the group, which appeared in drive in Washington on Jan. 6, as one of many chief instigators of the riot on the Capitol that left 5 folks useless, together with a Capitol Police officer.
In the indictment, prosecutors accused Charles Donohoe, a Proud Boys chief from North Carolina, and Zach Rehl, the president of the group’s chapter in Philadelphia, of conspiring to intervene with regulation enforcement officers on the Capitol and hinder the certification of President Biden’s electoral victory. Two different high-ranking Proud Boys who had been already going through related expenses — Ethan Nordean, of Auburn, Wash., and Joseph Biggs, of Ormond Beach, Fla. — had been additionally implicated as a part of the conspiracy.
The F.B.I. declined to remark.
The Proud Boys, who emerged in current years as a few of former President Donald J. Trump’s most vocal and violent supporters, describe themselves as “Western chauvinists” and have a historical past of bloody avenue fights with left-wing antifascist activists. Those clashes intensified final yr throughout the nationwide protests stemming from the loss of life of George Floyd by the hands of the police in Minneapolis. During a presidential debate in September, Mr. Trump refused to disavow the Proud Boys, telling them as an alternative in a extensively watched second to “stand back and stand by.”
While the Proud Boys had largely managed to keep away from federal scrutiny, that modified after the Jan. 6 riot. The F.B.I. started aggressively investigating members of the group concerned in the assault on the Capitol. Agents have searched properties throughout the nation, scoured social media accounts and delved into the personal communications of Proud Boys’ leaders. Members of the group have been charged in 4 conspiracy instances, accused of crimes together with threatening a federal officer and the destruction of presidency property.
The conspiracy case unsealed on Wednesday was the newest product of the continued efforts to prosecute the Proud Boys. Investigators have mentioned that Mr. Biggs, 37, and Mr. Nordean, 30, outfitted with radios and a bullhorn, led a mob of about 100 members and supporters of the group that marched by way of the streets of Washington on Jan. 6 chanting slogans and finally breached safety obstacles on the Capitol. Some Proud Boys had been among the many first rioters to shatter home windows and enter the constructing, confronting law enforcement officials inside.
Mr. Biggs, a former Army sergeant, was launched from custody pending trial shortly after his arrest in January and his case has been in a type of authorized holding sample for weeks. Mr. Nordean was launched from custody on March 3 after the chief decide of the Federal District Court in Washington agreed along with his legal professionals that the proof that he was accountable for aiding and abetting the violence and property destruction dedicated by his fellow Proud Boys on the Capitol was — no less than at that time — comparatively weak.
Mr. Rehl, 35, has styled himself as one of many Proud Boys’ most outstanding representatives on the East Coast and has led the group’s Philadelphia chapter since no less than 2018, in keeping with federal regulation enforcement officers. This summer season, he and different Proud Boys had been noticed socializing with local police officers outside a Philadelphia police union lodge.