What do you get when you mix snitching with a person of color who upholds white supremacy? The answer is apparently Enrique Tarrio.
A 2014 transcript including information from a federal prosecutor, an FBI agent and Tarrio’s personal lawyer described Tarrio as a contributor to at least 13 people being charged with drug crimes and human smuggling while also helping authorities identify a gambling ring.
Tarrio denied any involvement in playing a role as an informant.
“I don’t know any of this,” he said to Reuters in a phone interview. “I don’t recall any of this.”
CNN political commentator Bakari Sellers tweeted that Tarrio “is practically Tekashi 69,” referencing the New York rapper who notoriously testified against his fellow gang members on behalf of prosecutors stemming from racketeering and weapons charges.
The effort was reportedly part of a plan to reduce the prison sentences of Tarrio and two co-defendants after they pleaded guilty to fraud over relabeling and selling stolen diabetes test kits.
Tarrio confirmed with Reuters that his sentence was reduced from 30 months to 16 months but claimed it was approved because he helped investigators gain clarity regarding his case, not because he helped authorities investigate others.
According to Reuters, there remains no evidence that Tarrio participated as an informant after his sentence was reduced. But his interactions with police continued as chairman of the Proud Boys. Tarrio reportedly informed local law enforcement of their intended rallies across the different cities they frequented.
Wednesday’s report triggered a series of reactions, leading some to ponder: What did he know and when did he know it?
The optics also don’t align with Tarrio’s purported image of a “patriot” who wishes to uphold “American values,” restoring it to its past “greatness.”
Tarrio, 36, was arrested and released days before the U.S. Capitol insurrection. He pleaded not guilty to three counts: destruction of property over burning a Black Lives Matter flag taken from a historically Black church, and two felony weapons charges. As part of his release, a D.C. Superior Court Judge barred Tarrio from entering city limits until a hearing in June.
While Tarrio was not present at the coup that was attempted out of white rage and hate, his former affiliation as an informant speaks volumes. It’s best summed up by Singh Johannes, the prosecutor who went on record in the 2014 transcript confirming his involvement as an informant.
“I knew that he was a fraudster – but had no reason to know that he was also a domestic terrorist,” she said.