WASHINGTON D.C. - Volusia County resident Joe Biggs has been sentenced to 17 years in prison for his role in the U.S. Capitol riots on January 6th, 2021. Biggs was among the foremost leaders of the Proud Boys, a far-right organization who helped organized the deadly march.
“Our Constitution and laws give you so many important rights that Americans have fought and died for and that you yourself put on a uniform to defend,” District Judge Timothy Kelly said to Biggs, an Army veteran. “People around the world would give anything for these rights.”
Biggs was charged with seditious conspiracy in June 2022 for his participation in the January 6th insurrection. Alongside fellow organizers Ethan Nordean, Zachary Rehl, Dominic Pezzola, and Henry 'Enrique' Tarrio, Biggs was accused of attempting to coordinate to overthrow a free and fair presidential election.
Evidence used to prosecute Biggs included statements made to social media in the buildup to the insurrection, such as one that said "it's time for fucking war if they steal this shit". In posts to the predominantly conservative app Parler, Biggs stated on multiple occasions that now-former-President Donald Trump called for violence. "Trump basically said to go fuck them up," he said on one occasion. "President Trump told the proud boys to stand by because someone needs to deal with ANTIFA," he said on another.
Even Biggs' 17-year sentence is lighter than it could've been; prosecutors were initially seeking a 33-year stint in prison for the defendant. Judge Kelly erred on the side of restraint, avoiding giving Biggs the longest prison sentence of anyone tied to the January 6th riots.
Biggs made one final plea for leniency in his trial, saying "I am not a terrorist" and asking to be able to continue to see his family on a daily basis. He admitted he'd made a mistake on January 6th and conceded he deserved punishment, but hoped to avoid a long stay behind bars. "I wanted to see what would happen," he said according to a CNN report. "My curiosity got the best of me."
Now, Ormond Beach's Joe Biggs will be offered the opportunity to reflect for almost two decades.