Proud Boy Pleads Guilty to Obstruction

( – William Chrestman, a member of the controversial Proud Boys group, has pleaded guilty to offenses related to the riots on January 6, 2021. The Kansas native will be sentenced next year for obstructing the joint session of Congress convened to certify Joe Biden’s victory and threatening to assault a federal officer. Sentencing guidelines suggest he could serve between four and five years in prison.

Mr. Chrestman traveled to the protests on January 6 with fellow Proud Boy members from Kansas and brought a gas mask, axe handle, and helmet along with him. He marched with others to the Capitol buildings and shouted threats at officers while asking protestors who the House of Representatives belongs to and urging them to take it back.

According to court filings, Chrestman “assumed a de facto leadership role” and was a “primary coordinator” for the Proud Boy demonstration on the day.

The conviction is the latest for members of the organization and follows jail sentences handed down to four activists in May. Enrique Tarrio, the group’s former leader, was found guilty of the rare charge of seditious conspiracy in a federal court in Washington, DC, after the FBI identified the group as leading and facilitating the rioting.

US District Judge Timothy Kelly sentenced the Proud Boy members in September and said, “If we don’t have a peaceful transfer of power in this country, we don’t have anything.” Among them was Dominic Pezzola, who was convicted of assaulting police and obstruction and received a 10-year jail term. Ethan Nordean was sentenced to 18 years for seditious conspiracy. Joseph Biggs and Zachary Rehl received sentences of 17 and 15 years, respectively.

The Proud Boys was founded by controversial commentator Gavin McInnes in 2016 and is known for opposing Antifa and other far-left street groups, including Black Lives Matter (BLM). McInnes stepped down from a leadership role in 2019 and filed a lawsuit against the left-wing Southern Poverty Law Center for labeling the Proud Boys a “hate group.”

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