A former leader of the Proud Boys today pleaded guilty to seditious conspiracy for his actions before and during the January 6, 2021 burglary of the US Capitol. His and other actions aimed to stop the transfer of power by arranging a joint session of The US Congress met to determine and count the electoral votes related to the presidential election.
Jeremy Bertino, 43, pleaded guilty in the District of Columbia to seditious conspiracy in connection with the Capitol break-in. He also pled guilty to one charge of unlawful possession of a firearm, which stemmed from a court-authorized search of his home in March 2022. As part of the plea agreement, Bertino has agreed to cooperate with the government’s ongoing investigation.
According to court documents, the Proud Boys describe themselves as members of a “pro-Western fraternity of men who refuse to apologize for creating the modern world, aka Western chauvinists.” Bertino joined the Proud Boys in about 2018 and for a time served as vice president of his local Proud Boys chapter in South Carolina.
According to the court documents, Bertino traveled to Washington, DC several times in 2020 for rallies as a member of the Proud Boys. During a trip, on December 12, 2020, several people, including Bertino and other Proud Boys members, were involved in an altercation. During this argument, among others, Bertino was stabbed. Bertino was hospitalized, discharged and still recovering from his injuries on January 6, 2021 outside of the Washington DC area. Otherwise he would have gone to Washington.
In December 2020, Bertino accepted an invitation from Enrique Tarrio, then national chairman of the Proud Boys, to join a new chapter that Tarrio had been developing called the “Ministry of Self Defense” (MOSD). In the weeks leading up to January 6, Bertino engaged in encrypted chats and other communications with members of the MOSD leadership. Bertino understood from his…