WASHINGTON – A Texas man, formerly of California, was sentenced today in the District of Columbia after he was convicted of four felonies as a result of his conduct during the breach of the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021. 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 2020 presidential election.
Alan Hostetter, 59, of Poolville, Texas, formerly of San Clemente, California, was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Royce C. Lamberth to 135 months in prison and 36 months of supervised release. Judge Lamberth found Hostetter guilty of four felonies on July 13, 2023, following a bench trial.
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 evidence presented at trial, in the days following the 2020 presidential election, Hostetter, a retired police chief, coordinated with his co-conspirators to obstruct and interfere with the joint session of Congress at the Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, convened in order to certify the electoral college vote. Prior to the events of January 6th, Hostetter gave several speeches espousing his views on the 2020 presidential election and calling for the execution of his perceived political enemies. He pronounced to a crowd of supporters, “There must—absolutely must—be a reckoning. There must be justice. President Trump must be inaugurated on January 20th, and he must be allowed to finish this historic job of cleaning out the corruption in the cesspool known as Washington, D.C. The enemies and traitors of America, both foreign and domestic, must be held accountable. And they will. There must long prison terms, while execution is the just punishment for the ringleaders of this coup.”
In another such speech in December 2020, Hostetter told a crowd of supporters what he intended to accomplish on Jan. 6, 2021, when Congress was in session, stating, “Choke that city off, fill it with patriots, and then those people behind the walls of the Senate and the House are gonna be listening to us chanting outside those walls.” He added that he wanted members of Congress to know that “those five million people outside the walls are gonna drag us out by our hair and tie us to a f— lamp post.”
On Jan. 1, 2021, a co-conspirator of Hostetter’s created a Telegram chat called “The California Patriots-DC Brigade,” which Hostetter, along with more than 30 others, joined and used to identify themselves, communicate, and coordinate with each other.
Hostetter drove to Washington, D.C., for the January 6th protest, choosing not to fly so that he could load his car with weapons. Hostetter brought tactical gear, a helmet, hatchets, knives, stun batons, pepper spray, and other gear for himself and others. On the morning of January 6th, Hostetter met up with other members of the “DC Brigade” and walked to the Ellipse for the “Stop the Steal” rally.
Following the conclusion of the events at the Ellipse, Hostetter and others began to walk toward the Capitol building, where he made his way up the stairs of the Capitol, through scaffolding, and onto the Inaugural stage. As he came out from the scaffolding, Hostetter carried a bullhorn and looked down over the West Plaza, where rioters were battling with the police line they had passed earlier. From his highly visible perch, and with his bullhorn directed to the crowd and his American flag waving above the chaotic scene, Hostetter encouraged the rioters below, who had overrun the police line. 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-conspirator then pushed through the law enforcement line, moved through restricted areas of the grounds, and climbed into scaffolding covering a northwest set of stairs leading to the Inaugural stage.
Hostetter finally arrived at the Upper West Terrace. Here, he stated in a recorded video, “The people have taken back their house. I don’t think I’ve ever seen such a beautiful sight in my whole life. We’ve been sitting here, quietly for years, watching this corruption unfold. Hundreds of thousands of patriots showed up today to take back their government.” Hostetter remained on the Upper West Terrace for hours. While there, he carried his bullhorn and used it to encourage the crowd. Hostetter finally left the area after being forced out by police.
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.”
Hostetter was arrested on June 10, 2021, in California by the FBI.
On November 7, 2023, four of Hostetter’s co-defendants—Erik Warner, Felipe Antonio “Tony” Martinez, Derek Kinnison, and Ronald Mele—were convicted by a jury of, among other offenses, conspiring to obstruct an official proceeding. Hostetter’s co-defendant, Russell Taylor, previously pleaded guilty to conspiring to obstruct an official proceeding. These defendants are awaiting sentencing.
This case was 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.
This case was 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 35 months since Jan. 6, 2021, more than 1,230 individuals have been charged in nearly all 50 states for crimes related to the breach of the U.S. Capitol, including more than 440 individuals charged with assaulting or impeding law enforcement, a felony. The investigation remains ongoing.