Founder of Proud Boys chapter in Hawaii pleads guilty in connection to Capitol riot

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The Hawaii chapter leader of the Proud Boys has plead guilty to charges stemming from the riot at the US Capitol.

Department of Justice officials announced in a news release on Friday that 36-year-old Nicholas Ochs of Honolulu had pleaded guilty to obstructing an official proceeding. The charge is more serious that some unaffiliated participants of the riot have faced, but ultimately far less than some members of right-wing militia groups now face.

“Ochs traveled from Honolulu to Washington, D.C., arriving on Jan. 5,” states the DoJ’s news release.

He and a friend from Texas, who also plead guilty on Friday, battled with police near the inauguration stage where Joe Biden would be sworn in days later.

“Both men threw smoke bombs at the police line,” the DoJ release reads.

Mr Ochs is described as the founder of the Hawaii chapter of the far-right organisation that has grown in infamy in recent years for its frequent violent clashes with left-leaning protesters; the group was known along with the far-right Oathkeepers militia group were known to have a sizable presence at the Capitol during the Jan 6 riot.

Enrique Tarrio, leader of the Proud Boys’s national organisation, was arrested in March. He faces charges of "conspiracy to corruptly obstruct, influence, and impede an official proceeding”, though federal officials admit he was not present during the riot itself.

The attack on Congress resulted in the deaths of several Capitol Police officers while dozens of other members of law enforcement were injured.

The bloody scene led to a massive security footprint around Capitol Hill that was only lifted months later.

The two men who pleaded guilty on Friday are co-hosts of a right-wing podcast known as “Murder the Media” and were apparently caught in part due to their decision to inscribe that slogan on a door inside the Capitol building.

According to the DoJ, the number of Americans arrested for crimes related to the breach of the Capitol is rapidly approaching 900, a historic number of arrests for any kind of political violence in the US.

Mr Ochs and his co-host Nicholas DeCarlo will be sentenced in December, and face a maximum of 20 years in prison.