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A former La Habra police chief was sentenced Thursday to more than 11 years in prison for joining a riot at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, in a plot to prevent Congress from certifying election results.

Alan Hostetter, one of six members of a Southern California group known as the DC Brigade, was convicted in federal court in July of four felonies including conspiracy to obstruct an official proceeding and entering a restricted area with a deadly or dangerous weapon.

Hostetter, 58, who now lives in Poolville, Texas, was ordered by a Washington, D.C., judge to pay $2,000 in restitution and a fine of $30,000 as part of his sentencing. He is expected to report to prison by Jan. 5, 2024, according to federal court records.

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Prosecutors argued that Hostetter, a fervent supporter of former President Trump, refused to accept that Joe Biden won the 2020 election, according to court records. Hostetter called for the execution of his perceived political enemies in various speeches at so-called Stop the Steal rallies in the weeks leading up to the insurrection, according to videos and court records.

At one such rally in December 2020, Hostetter told the crowd that “President Trump must be inaugurated on Jan. 20, 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 be long prison terms, while execution is the just punishment for the ringleaders of this coup,” he said.

Hostetter, who spent roughly two decades in law enforcement before retiring and becoming a yoga instructor, was a key figure in Orange County right-wing activism circles during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Hostetter’s social media accounts promoted weekly rallies and street marches against “tyrants” issuing health orders for a pandemic he claimed was not real. He formed a nonprofit organization, the American Phoenix Project, described in state registration papers as being dedicated to the advancement of constitutional liberties.

Hostetter was indicted in June 2021 along with five other men: Ladera Ranch resident Russell Taylor, and Riverside County Three Percenters militia members Derek Kinnison of Lake Elsinore, Felipe “Tony” Martinez of Lake Elsinore, Erik Scott Warner of Menifee and Ronald Mele of Temecula.

Taylor pleaded guilty in April to a conspiracy charge. He testified for the government at Hostetter’s trial. Kinnison, Martinez, Warner and Mele were found guilty in November of conspiracy to obstruct an official proceeding and other charges.

Prosecutors allege the men conspired on social media prior to the riot — including on a Telegram channel dubbed California Patriots – Answer the Call Jan. 6 and via text messages — creating travel plans that included discussion of bringing weapons to the Capitol.

On Jan. 6, Hostetter, Taylor and others gathered near the Ellipse adjacent to the White House to hear Trump speak. Hostetter noted in an Instagram video that he and others “are not actually going to be going into the Ellipse, because we have some personal protective gear.” Prosecutors say Hostetter was referring to a hatchet he had in his backpack, according to court records.

At the Capitol, Hostetter climbed onto the Upper West Terrace and filmed the chaos around him. Hostetter did not enter the building, but, prosecutors say, he used a bullhorn to encourage the crowd to push through the police line and breach off-limits areas of the Capitol.

“The people have taken back their house. I don’t think I’ve ever seen such a beautiful sight in my whole life,” Hostetter says in a video taken at the scene that’s detailed in court records.

At times during the trial Hostetter, who represented himself, spun conspiracy theories about the insurrection, claimed the election was stolen from Trump and portrayed himself as a victim of FBI corruption.

Prosecutors argued in a 58-page sentencing memo submitted to the court that Hostetter’s intent at the Capitol was to make members of Congress fear for their safety despite knowing that his actions were unlawful.

“Hostetter likes to wrap himself in the American flag and take on the role of freedom fighter, but there is nothing patriotic or American about calling for violence — or threatening violence, to achieve your political aims. That is not patriotism. That is terrorism,” prosecutors wrote.

The Associated Press contributed to this report


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