A federal judge has ruled that Joseph Biggs and Ethan Nordean are dangerous and should not be free while awaiting trial.
A federal judge on Monday ordered two leaders of the far-right extremist group Proud Boys to be arrested and jailed pending trial for attack on the US Capitol to prevent Congress from certifying President Joe Biden’s electoral victory.
Joseph Biggs and Ethan Nordean had been free since their arraignment on March 10, but U.S. District Judge Timothy Kelly concluded the two were dangerous and no conditions for their release could be adequate. The judge said Biggs and Nordean “facilitated political violence” even though they were unarmed and assaulted no one on Capitol Hill on January 6.
Kelly overturned another federal judge in Washington, DC, who had ordered house arrest for Nordean. Biggs was released after his initial arrest on Jan.20 in his home state of Florida. Initially, Department of Justice prosecutors did not seek to keep Biggs in jail, but last month asked for his bail to be revoked, saying new evidence shows he posed a “grave danger. For the community.
Lawyers for Biggs and Nordean have asked Kelly to stay Monday’s decision pending a possible appeal, but the judge denied their request.
Biggs and Nordean are among more than two dozen defendants of the Capitol Riot who have been described by federal authorities as officers, members or associates of Proud Boys.
Last month indictment indicted Biggs, Nordean and two other men described as Proud Boys leaders who conspired to prevent congressional certification of the Electoral College vote. Other counts in the indictment include obstructing formal proceedings, obstructing law enforcement during civil unrest and conduct disorder.
Zachary Rehl and Charles Donohoe are charged in the same indictment as Biggs and Nordean and have been jailed since their arrest in March.
Police arrested top Proud Boys leader Enrique Tarrio in Washington two days before the riot and charged him with vandalizing a Black Lives Matter banner at a historic black church during a protest in December. Tarrio, who was ordered to stay outside of the District of Columbia, has not been charged in connection with the siege of the Capitol.
Nordean, 30, of Auburn, Wash., Was chairman of the Proud Boys chapter and a member of the group’s national “Elders Council”. Biggs, 37, from Ormond Beach, Fla., Is a self-proclaimed organizer of the Proud Boys. Rehl, 35, of Philadelphia, and Donohoe, 33, of Kernersville, North Carolina, are presidents of their local Proud Boys chapters, according to the indictment.
Proud boys members describe themselves as a politically incorrect men’s club for “western chauvinists”. Its members frequently engaged in street fighting with anti-fascist activists during rallies and demonstrations.
On the morning of the riot, Biggs and Nordean met other members of the Proud Boys at the Washington Monument and marched them to the Capitol before then-President Donald Trump finished addressing thousands of supporters near the White House, according to the indictment.
About two hours later, just before Congress called a joint session to certify the election results, members of the Proud Boys followed suit. a crowd of people who crossed the barriers at a pedestrian entrance to Capitol Park, according to the indictment. Several Proud Boys also entered the Capitol building itself after crowds smashed windows and forced open doors.
In a March 3 hearing, U.S. District Judge Beryl Howell accused prosecutors of going back on their claims that Nordean ordered members of the Proud Boys to break up into small groups and lead a “strategic plan” for break through the Capitol.
However, Howell concluded that Nordean was heavily involved in the “pre-planning” of the events of January 6 and that he and other Proud Boys “were clearly prepared for a violent confrontation” that day.