“While in the parking garage, Tarrio told another individual that he had cleared all of the messages on his phone before he was arrested,” prosecutors wrote, in a filing urging a federal magistrate judge to detain Tarrio pending trial. “Tarrio further stated that no one would be able to get into his phone because there were ‘two steps’ to get into it.”
Prosecutors say that after Tarrio left Washington, D.C., that night — part of a court order that he stay away from the city while facing charges related to his conduct during a December 2020 rally — he traveled to Baltimore.
“That evening, Tarrio used the phones of associates to make a number of phone calls, and to log back into his encrypted messaging accounts,” prosecutors say. “After having regained access to his accounts, Tarrio assured his men that his phone had not been compromised.”
Reuters first reported on the existence of the Tarrio-Rhodes meeting, and the FBI’s interest in it, last month.
The new details suggest Tarrio played a more direct role than previously understood in orchestrating the events that occurred on Jan. 6, when top Proud Boys leaders were at the vanguard of a mob that overran police lines and threatened the presidential transfer of power.
Prosecutors have charged Tarrio, along with four other Proud Boys leaders, with conspiring to obstruct Congress that day. They also charged a sixth member of the group, Dominic Pezzola, who they say was the first to physically breach the Capitol when he shattered a window with a stolen police riot shield.
The case against the Proud Boys is one of two conspiracies charging members of far-right organizations with helping lead the assault on the Capitol. The other, against Rhodes and his Oath Keepers allies, levels charges of seditious conspiracy, the gravest allegations to date.
Tarrio will face a magistrate judge on Tuesday morning to determine whether he will remain in custody pending trial.