South Florida's Jan. 6 defendants: Where are they now?
Two years out from the Jan. 6 insurrection at the U.S. Capitol building, many rioters who sought to interrupt the certification of votes for then-President-elect Joe Biden still await trial in Washington, D.C., federal court.
Out of all states in the U.S., Florida has the highest number of defendants. Some have pleaded guilty, others have trial dates set for this year — and at least one has been allowed to travel the country and get involved in local right-wing politics.
Miami-Dade County itself raised one of the most high-profile Jan. 6 defendants: Enrique “Henry” Tarrio, former chairman of the far-right nationalist group the Proud Boys.
Tarrio himself was not at the Capitol on Jan. 6 — he was arrested just a few days prior for separate offenses and told not to return to D.C. But federal prosecutors have charged him and leaders of the militant group Oath Keepers with seditious conspiracy for allegedly plotting the events that led to the insurrection.
The former Proud Boys leader may be the most nationally-recognized defendant from South Florida, but there’s no shortage of others.
More than 10 men and women from Miami-Dade, Broward, and Palm Beach Counties have been arrested in connection with the events of Jan. 6. The majority of them face identical charges of entering restricted grounds, disorderly conduct on restricted grounds, disorderly conduct in a Capitol building and obstructing an official proceeding — among others — according torecords from the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ).
WLRN has compiled a list of those defendants and where their court cases stand two years after the riot.
Hollywood resident Julio Baquero was arrested in November of 2021. Among his charges, which include civil disorder and disorderly conduct in a Capitol building, Baquero's case stands out because of his alleged assault on a Capitol police officer. According to a statement of facts from the DOJ, video footage showed Baquero grabbing at Capitol police officers and trying to impede them as the officers attempted to stop the rioters from getting further into the building.
Baquero pleaded not guilty to all charges. A status conference on his case is schedule for Jan. 6, 2023.
Mason Joel Courson
Dubbed "#Tweedledumb" by online civilian insurrection investigators, Mason Joel Courson, 26, of Tamarac was arrested in December of 2021.
He earned the nickname because during the riot he was pictured next to a similar-looking man in a Trump cap, whom online sleuths called "#Tweedledee" before their identities were discovered.
Courson was accused by prosecutors of being part of the group that chanted "heave, ho!" while bashing their way into the Capitol on Jan. 6. He was hit with multiple charges including assaulting or impeding Capitol officers with a dangerous weapon and acts of violence on Capitol grounds.
He initially pleaded not guilty to all charges, but changed his plea to guilty on the charge of assaulting officers with a weapon. His attorneys attached to his change of plea motion evidence photos of Courson at the Capitol riot wielding a police baton, which prosecutors alleged he used to beat a police officer.
Courson waived his right to a jury trial. He is due to be sentenced on Mar. 31, 2023.
Felipe Marquez was arrested in Coral Springs on Jan. 15, 2021, shortly after the insurrection.
Marquez pleaded guilty to one count of disorderly and disruptive conduct in a restricted building — the rest of his charges were dropped. He was sentenced to 18 months probation, but requested an early termination late last year after serving two-thirds of his sentence. A response to his request from the court is due on Jan. 6, 2023.
One of the later Jan. 6 arrests, Barry Ramey was taken into custody in Plantation on Apr. 20, 2022. Among other charges, which include civil disorder, Ramey was charged with committing an act of physical violence on Capitol grounds and entering a restricted building with a dangerous weapon.
According to a statement of facts from the DOJ, video footage shared on the messaging app Parler showed Ramey assaulting Capitol police officers.
"According to a review of video footage posted on Propublica’s Parler repository, Florida resident, BARRY BENNETT RAMEY was observed assaulting law enforcement officers by spraying them with an unknown orange substance that is consistent with pepper spray," the document stated.
Ramey pleaded not guilty to all charges against him. A pre-trial conference is set for his case on Jan. 30, 2023. Jury trial is scheduled for Feb. 21, 2023.
William Rogan Reid
Arrested in Davie on Apr. 1, 2021, William Rogan Reid was charged with entering the Capitol during the riot and hit with a charge of corruptly altering, destroying or concealing a record, for allegedly disabling and hiding his cell phone when law enforcement executed a warrant to take his digital devices.
Reid was found guilty on all counts last year and was sentenced to three years in prison followed by three years of supervised release. He appealed the court's decision and must file additional appeal documents by Jan. 9, 2023.
Capitol rioter Moises Romero was arrested in October of 2021 in Cooper City.
Romero pleaded guilty to one count of civil disorder and had all other charges dropped. Last year, Romero was sentenced to 12 months and one day in federal prison, followed by 12 months of supervised release and 60 hours of community service.
The roommate of fellow Jan. 6 defendant Julio Baquero, Louis Valentin of Hollywood pleaded not guilty to all charges against him related to entering the Capitol, including a charge of parading, demonstrating or picketing in a Capitol building.
According to a statement of facts from the FBI, Valentin and Baquero travelled together to Washington, D.C., to attend a rally for outgoing President Donald Trump prior to the Capitol riot. Valentin told an FBI task force officer during an interview that he and Baquero walked into the Capitol after the Trump rally, and that they were only inside for about 10 minutes. Baquero said they were inside for closer to 25 minutes, according to the statement of facts.
A status conference for Valentin's case is scheduled for Jan. 6, 2023.
Julio Cesar Chang
Julio Cesar Chang was arrested in Miami in October of 2021. He pleaded not guilty to all charges against him, which include entering or remaining on restricted grounds and disorderly conduct in a Capitol building.
Court records show the DOJ and Chang's attorneys requested a time extension to review "over 3.49 million files" submitted to the court.
Gabriel Augustin Garcia
Former Proud Boy Gabriel Augustin Garcia was arrested weeks after the insurrection on Jan. 19, 2021. Records from the DOJ state that Garcia posted videos of himself inside the Capitol on the day of the riot, and quote him as saying, "We just went ahead and stormed the Capitol. It’s about to get ugly," and calling Capitol police officers "traitors."
Garcia was indicted and pleaded not guilty to all charges, which include civil disorder, entering restricted grounds and obstructing the certification of votes for President-elect Joe Biden.
Unlike many other defendants, he was allowed to return home to Miami. He has been fitted with an ankle monitor and must request permission to leave the state. Late last year he was granted leave to travel to Phoenix, Ariz., this month to visit a loved one's family. But he was denied a request to travel to D.C. for a "January 6th Solidarity Truth" event this month.
Garcia is one of five current and former members of the Proud Boys — an organization dubbed a "hate group" by the Southern Poverty Law Center — who were members of the Miami-Dade County GOP's executive committee last June, as reported by Miami New Times.
A pre-trial conference for Garcia's case is set for Mar. 1, 2023 and jury selection is scheduled for Mar. 13.
Enrique "Henry" Tarrio
Shortly after serving out a prison sentence in D.C. for burning a Black Lives Matter flag that belonged to a church, and for illegally carrying two high-capacity firearm magazines into the District of Columbia, Tarrio was arrested again in March of 2022 in connection with the Capitol breach. In June, the 38-year-old and other far-right leaders were hit with a charge of seditious conspiracy for their alleged involvement in planning the insurrection to overthrow the government.
Texts from a private Proud Boys group chat on Jan. 6 cited in court filings show an unnamed person texting Tarrio: "Dude, did we just influence history?" Tarrio responded, "Let's first see how this plays out."
Tarrio pleaded not guilty to all charges against him, which include seditious conspiracy, destruction of government property and assaulting, resisting or impeding government officers or employees.
Jury selection is underway in Tarrio's trial.
Palm Beach County
Wellington resident Jason Dolan is a former member of the far-right Oath Keepers, one of the groups accused of planning the Jan. 6 insurrection.
Hit with multiple charges including conspiracy to defraud the U.S., Dolan agreed to plead guilty to one count of conspiracy and one count of obstructing an official proceeding. Dolan also agreed to testify about his alleged role in planning the insurrection and act as a government witness while the DOJ continues to prosecute his former associates, like Oath Keepers founder Stewart Rhodes.
The U.S. government has until Mar. 17, 2023, to issue a status report saying whether a sentencing hearing for Dolan must be set.
Nicholas Lentz was arrested in West Palm Beach in February of 2021. In their court complaint, prosecutors attached a photo Lentz posted to his Facebook page in front of other Capitol rioters with the caption, "We the people did it."
Prosecutors also reviewed a 52-second video clip of Lentz inside the Capitol, also posted to his Facebook, in which he said, "America has spoken. You can not stop millions of people."
Lentz pleaded guilty in February of 2022 to one count of entering and remaining on restricted grounds. He was sentenced to 36 months probation, including 30 days home detention and 100 hours of community service.
Jody Lynn Tagaris
The only woman of the Jan. 6 defendants from South Florida, Jody Lynn Tagaris was arrested in West Palm Beach on May 25, 2021.
She was charged with entering restricted grounds, entering or remaining in certain rooms in the Capitol, and performing disorderly conduct while on restricted grounds and in the Capitol building. Six months after her arrest, she pleaded guilty entering and remaining in certain rooms and was sentenced to 24 months of probation and 60 hours of community service, as well as hit with a $2,000 fine.