Jeremy Bertino on Thursday became the first Proud Boys leader to enter a guilty plea to a seditious conspiracy charge. Bertino was a top aide to Henry "Enrique" Tarrio, the group's top leader, and the plea could put Bertino in position to testify against Tarrio and others, the Washington Post reports. Bertino was not present for the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol but was accused of conspiring with other supporters of then-President Donald Trump to block the certification of the presidential election results by Congress. He also pleaded guilty in federal court to a gun charge for which sentencing guidelines call for 51 to 63 months in prison.
The North Carolina man now is cooperating with the Justice Department investigation of the Proud Boys, per CNN. He could testify against Tarrio and Joe Biggs; Tarrio was an aide to Trump ally Roger Stone, while Biggs used to work for Infowars host Alex Jones. Tarrio has pleaded not guilty to seditious conspiracy. He and five other Proud Boys leaders are scheduled to be tried in December. Stone has not been charged and has denied any role in the attack. Bertino's plea agreement notes he might be eligible for witness protection. (Read more Capitol attack stories.)