Ex-Proud Boy and Miami-Dade GOP executive committee member found guilty in Jan. 6 case

Al Diaz/adiaz@miamiherald.com
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Gabriel Garcia, a former member of the Proud Boys who once sat on the Miami-Dade Republican Party Executive Committee, was found guilty on Monday of two felonies related to his role in the Jan. 6, 2021 riot at the U.S. Capitol.

Garcia was accused of participating in aggressive confrontations with police on Jan. 6 and aiding other rioters to storm the Capitol. Garcia also recorded himself inside the Capitol during the riot, and at one point posted a video in which he can be heard taunting then-U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to “come out and play.”

In a bench trial held in Washington, D.C. on Monday, U.S. District Judge Amy Berman Jackson found Garcia guilty of civil disorder and obstruction of an official proceeding — two felonies that carry a combined maximum prison sentence of 25 years, as well as potential financial penalties.

A sentencing hearing has been scheduled for March 28, 2024.

Garcia had pleaded not guilty to the two felony charges, as well as four other charges. Reached by phone on Tuesday morning, Garcia declined to comment on the case.

Garcia, a former U.S. Army captain, was arrested on Jan. 19, 2021, less than two weeks after a mob of former President Donald Trump’s supporters stormed the U.S. Capitol in an effort to stop Congress from certifying President Joe Biden as the winner of the 2020 election.

He is one of several South Florida-based members of the extremist white-nationalist group the Proud Boys to face charges stemming from the Capitol riot. In one of the most notable cases, the group’s former leader Enrique Tarrio, a Miami native, was convicted earlier this year on charges of seditious conspiracy and sentenced to 22 years in prison.

Tarrio was convicted alongside three other Proud Boys members of plotting to attack the Capitol in hopes of keeping Trump in power. A fifth defendant was cleared of sedition but was convicted of other felonies.

Garcia has a history in Miami-Dade politics. In addition to his former role on the Miami-Dade GOP’s Executive Committee, he ran an unsuccessful challenge to Florida state Rep. Daniel Perez, who’s slated to become state House speaker next year, in 2020.

After his arrest in 2021, Garcia was released from detention on $100,000 bond. He repeatedly asked the court to remove his GPS ankle monitor, arguing that it embarrassed him around business clients and posed a work safety hazard.

He traveled often in the years since his arrest, but was eventually placed on home detention by Berman Jackson after he attended the annual Conservative Political Action Conference this year without the court authorization.