Former UCLA student from Costa Mesa who participated in Capitol riot sentenced to over 3 years in prison

Christian Secor sits behind the dais on the floor of the Senate on Jan. 6, 2021.
Christian Secor sits behind the dais on the floor of the Senate during a riot at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021. He was sentenced Thursday, Oct. 19, to three years and six months in federal prison for his role in the uprising.
(Courtesy of the U.S. Department of Justice)

A judge sentenced a Costa Mesa man who founded a conservative student organization at UCLA and participated in the Jan. 6, 2021 breach of the Capitol building to over three years in federal prison Thursday.

Christian Secor, 24, is no longer a student at the university but was the president of America First Bruins when he traveled to Washington, D.C. to attend the Stop the Steal rally, according to court documents. He agreed to plead guilty in connection with the ensuing riot to one count of obstruction of an official proceeding in a deal with prosecutors filed on May 19.

He had also been accused of entering restricted grounds, disorderly conduct on capitol grounds, civil disorder and assaulting officers, and he potentially faced a 20-year sentence if convicted as charged. But those additional counts were dropped per the terms of his plea agreement.


Secor had brought a gas mask with him when he arrived at Reagan National Airport last year on Jan. 5. That’s because he “expect[ed] [expletive] to go sideways,” he wrote in a text message, according to court documents.

“Wouldn’t be surprised if conservatives just storm the police and clobber antifa and the police, but that’s wishful thinking,” he wrote.

Christian Secor, of Costa Mesa, carries a flag while walking through the Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021.
Christian Secor, of Costa Mesa, carries a flag bearing the letters A and F, short for America First, while walking through the Capitol building after it was breached by rioters on Jan. 6, 2021. He was sentenced Thursday to three years and six months in federal prison.
(Courtesy of the U.S. Department of Justice)

Secor admitted he entered the Capitol after it had been breached by a mob contesting the results of the 2020 presidential election. By the time he had reached the building, barricades and bicycle racks Capitol police had used to try to block access to it had been shoved out of the way, his lawyer, Brandi Harden, noted in a memo requesting leniency in his sentencing. They also argued that his participation in the riot was “minimal, short-lived and included no violence.”

Prosecutors claim Secor joined a group of people who overpowered police guarding a door on the second floor of the building. But Harden said that although her client was with them, he “did not touch anyone.”

He also took a photo of his hand with the Senate dais in the background and later wrote “It was Trump supporters you losers, and you should be proud,” in a Tweet.

“One day accomplished more for conservativism than the last 30 years and all the normie have to say is denial,” he went on in his Tweet. “You boomers will kill our republic.”

The student group he founded was inspired by Nicholas Fuentes, a podcaster who encouraged overturning the results of the 2020 election by force and described by attorneys for the U.S. as “a public figure known for making racist statements, celebrating fascism and promoting white supremacy.”

Prosecutors said Secor harbored “apparent support of political violence,” and had easy access to weapons. Authorities executing a search warrant on Feb. 16, 2021, found three knives and a baton in his vehicle, mace and body armor plates in his bedroom, as well as a privately manufactured and untraceable “ghost gun” in a gun safe in his home.

Screenshots from his computer showed that he had pulled up instruction manuals for 3-D printing firearms components, according to court documents. And about 20 purchases totaling over $3,300 from firearms and tactical gear retailers were made with his credit card between December 2019 and November 2020.

Six days after the riot last January, Secor received a message from someone described as an “associate” by prosecutors who asked “hey bro do you make any Glocks or AR for sale?”

Secor replied, “Never say anything remotely of that nature on an unsecure line. We are in a civil war ... the short answer is no.”

Harden pointed out that Secor had no role in organizing the Jan. 6 riot, did not participate in efforts to breach the Capitol and did not make any statements to incite the crowd inside the building. She had been petitioning for a sentence as light as two years of probation. Prosecutors had recommended that he spend as much as four years and six months in prison.

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