The leader of the Proud Boys, who was arrested in Washington shortly before the Capitol riot, previously worked undercover and cooperated with investigators after he was accused of fraud in 2012, court documents show.
Henry "Enrique" Tarrio helped law enforcement in a variety of investigations nearly a decade ago by providing information and going undercover, the records show.
The Proud Boys is a far-right, male chauvinist extremist group that seized on the Trump administration's policies and was a major agitator during earlier protests and the Capitol riot on Jan. 6. The Proud Boys have railed against a "deep state" and work to break down the current government system, and so the revelations of Tarrio as a federal informant came as a surprise.
The details of Tarrio's cooperation, which was first reported Wednesday by Reuters, were found in a transcript of a 2014 hearing in federal court in Florida regarding his sentence for participating in a scheme involving the resale of diabetic test strips.
The prosecutor and Tarrio's defense attorney both cited Tarrio's extensive cooperation in arguing that his sentence of 30 months should be cut. The judge agreed to reduce his sentence to 16 months, the records show.
"Your Honor, frankly, in all the years, which is now more than 30 that I've been doing this, I've never had a client as prolific in terms of cooperating in any respect," said Tarrio's lawyer at the time, Jeffrey Feiler, according to the transcript.