Defendant Convicted of Engaging in Conspiracy to Disrupt Congress
WASHINGTON – A California man was found guilty in the District of Columbia today of four felonies, including conspiring to obstruct Congress, related to his actions during the Jan. 6, 2021, Capitol breach. His actions and the actions of others disrupted a joint session of the U.S. Congress convened to ascertain and count the electoral votes related to the presidential election.
Alan Hostetter, 56, of San Clemente, California, was found guilty of all four charges against him following a bench trial before U.S. District Judge Royce C. Lamberth. A sentencing hearing was scheduled for Oct. 13, 2023.
Hostetter was convicted of conspiring to obstruct an official proceeding; obstruction of an official proceeding and aiding and abetting; entering and remaining in a restricted building or grounds with a deadly or dangerous weapon; and disorderly or disruptive conduct in a restricted building or grounds with a deadly or dangerous weapon.
According to the government’s evidence, Hostetter was among rioters in a mob that illegally entered the Capitol grounds and Capitol building on Jan. 6, 2021. In the weeks leading up to January 6th, the government’s evidence shows that Hostetter and others coordinated and conspired together to arrange travel from California to Washington, D.C., to attend the Stop the Steal Rally and protest Congress’ certification of the Electoral College.
On the morning of January 6th, Hostetter and others met in a group in downtown Washington to walk to the Ellipse for the rally. The government’s evidence states that Hostetter carried a backpack containing a hatchet. Following the conclusion of the events at the Ellipse, Hostetter and others began to walk towards the Capitol building. At approximately 2:30 p.m., Hostetter joined other rioters on the lower west terrace of the Capitol who were pushing through a line of law enforcement officers trying to hold them back. Hostetter and a co-defendant then pushed through the law enforcement line and moved through restricted areas of the grounds toward the upper west terrace. Once on the upper west terrace, Hostetter stated, “The people have taken back their house. Hundreds of thousands of patriots showed up today to take back their government!”
Hostetter later posted a picture of himself taken from the upper west terrace to an Instagram account that he controlled, writing, “This was the shot heard round the world!...the 2021 version of 1776. That war lasted 8 years. We are just getting started.”
The charges of conspiring to obstruct an official proceeding and obstruction of an official proceeding and aiding and abetting both carry a statutory maximum of 20 years in prison. The charges of entering and remaining in a restricted building or grounds with a deadly or dangerous weapon and disorderly or disruptive conduct in a restricted building or grounds with a deadly or dangerous weapon both carry a statutory maximum of 10 years in prison. The Court will determine any sentence after considering the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.
The case is being prosecuted by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia and the Department of Justice National Security Division’s Counterterrorism Section. Valuable assistance was provided by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Central District of California.
The case is being investigated by the FBI’s Los Angeles Field Office, as well as the Metropolitan Police Department and U.S. Capitol Police, with significant assistance provided by the FBI’s Washington Field Office.
In the 30 months since Jan. 6, 2021, more than 1,069 individuals have been arrested in nearly all 50 states for crimes related to the breach of the U.S. Capitol, including more than 350 individuals charged with assaulting or impeding law enforcement. The investigation remains ongoing.
Anyone with tips can call 1-800-CALL-FBI (800-225-5324) or visit tips.fbi.gov.