Capitol rioter who sat in Pence's seat on Jan. 6 faces prison sentence after pleading to felony obstruction
Mike Pence, photo by Gage Skidmore.

A California man who was among the rioters occupying the U.S. Senate chambers during the January 6 has pleaded guilty to felony charges and faces substantial prison time.

Christian Alexander Secor, 23, of Costa Mesa, California, pleaded guilty in the District of Columbia to obstruction of an official proceeding, according to the Department of Justice. Secor, who is to be sentenced on October 7, faces a statutory maximum of 20 years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000.

But under Secor’s plea agreement, the DOJ maintains the defendant should receive a prison sentence of 51-to-63 months, which if imposed would be among the longest handed out to date. But the agreement also states the Secor “does reserve the right to challenge that finding “solely on the grounds that his offense did not involve causing or threatening to cause physical injury to a person or property damage.” If that position prevailed, Secor would face 21 to 27 months in prison under the guidelines.

The FBI alleged in its arrest documents that “at approximately 2:47 p.m., after another rioter had jumped over the railing in the Senate Gallery to the Senate Floor, (Secor) left the Gallery and went to the door of the Senate Floor on the second story of the building. The defendant then made his way to the Senate Dais and sat in the seat that had been occupied by Vice President Mike Pence approximately 30 minutes earlier.

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“While the defendant occupied the seat at the Senate Dais-and while other rioters were present inside the Senate Chambers and the U.S. Capitol building---the joint session to count and certify the votes of the Electoral College for the 2020 Presidential Election could not continue.”

According to court documents, Secor sent a text message on November 3, 2020 – Election Day -- stating, “We’re gonna win bigly and if we don’t we’re taking this ship down in flames.”

“In preparation for the events of Jan. 6, he messaged another individual on Jan. 5, 2021, stating that he “brought a gas mask” to Washington and that he “Wouldn’t be surprised if conservatives just storm the police and clobber antifa and the police but that’s wishful thinking.”

And Secor tweeted, "the facade of a free country are [sic] evaporating before our eyes. What an exciting time to be alive." And that "The institutional attacks on this demonstration are something out of the Arab Spring. More reason to go by any means necessary!"

On the evening of Jan. 6, Secor boasted about what took place that day on Twitter, saying, among other things, “One day accomplished more for conservatism than the last 30 years.”

You can read the criminal complaint here.