By Joseph Jordan
It was a brisk morning in Orange County, Calif. An army of kitted out cops began preparing to surround a family residence they were targeting for a raid.
“FBI, open up!” the men shouted as the pounding intensified. They bulldozered through the front door, jolting the law-abiding, hard-working family in a haze of pre-dawn confusion.
The federal agents held up a warrant for Christian Secor, a 24-year-old political science major at UCLA with no criminal record.
Upon entering the quiet home, they put Secor, his mother, and his sister in handcuffs. The agents rummaged through the family’s personal belongings, wrecking what they could, claiming they were searching for “evidence.”
What did Secor do? The answer became clear: Secor had entered the U.S. Capitol during the chaotic protests on Jan. 6, then left on his own. During his time inside the building, he didn’t hurt anyone or damage any property.
Sources familiar with Secor’s ordeal told American Free Press that after being arrested by the FBI, Christian was booked and scheduled for a bail hearing at the Santa Ana municipal court, where he expected to be released.
An individual who was present during Secor’s bond hearing said that the family was optimistic about him going home after watching the proceedings of a repeat felon who was a known member of the black street gang, the Crips. This suspect got a $40,000 bail for a much more serious crime.
When it was Secor’s turn, the judge refused to take into account the fact that Secor was employed, a successful student, and active in his community.
The court ordered the young man to be held in detention pending trial. In and around February 2021, Christian would then spend 40 consecutive days in solitary confinement, sealed off from the outside world in a dungeon where he was denied basic toiletries like razors. His beard grew long, and he had little contact with other people.
Secor was eventually granted a draconian bond of $300,000 and house arrest for his political crimes, a pre-trial punishment that in today’s America is usually reserved for rapists and murderers.
During his lengthy house arrest, which was later reduced to a curfew, several witnesses report that Secor’s behavior was exemplary. He continued going to work, had a girlfriend, attended church every Sunday, and did not violate a single condition of his pre-trial release.
His legal situation was also improving. Secor had drawn Judge Trevor N. McFadden in his case, a Trump-appointee who has previously commented that non-violent people who entered the Capitol should not face lengthy prison sentences.
During proceedings, McFadden would push back against federal prosecutors who sought to make Secor’s criminal case about his legally owned firearms (he was not armed on Jan. 6) and his political organizing at UCLA. Christian was the founder of the second national chapter of Nick Fuentes’ America First campus group.
Federal prosecutors had initially stacked several charges against Secor, including a novel interpretation of “assault on a police officer.” During his protest and entry of the Capitol on Jan. 6, Secor never made any physical contact with law enforcement.
After turning down offers to inform on other Trump supporters, Secor and his legal team agreed to plead guilty to a single count of Obstruction of an Official Proceeding, a non-violent crime, and prayed that the ostensibly conservative judge would sentence this model citizen in a way that actually fit his crime.
According to federal guidelines, Secor should have only been sentenced to 12 to 18 months in prison for his obstruction charge.
Despite all of the legal and mitigating circumstances, McFadden made a sudden reversal on his belief that nonviolent Capitol offenders should be spared serious prison sentences. The judge erupted into a rant at Secor’s hearing about making an “example” of the college student. McFadden went on to state that he was planning to give him three and a half years in federal prison the whole time, regardless of the circumstances.
Christian’s probation officer joined several other character witnesses to recommend leniency after watching his good behavior. This did not persuade McFadden to show mercy.
The judge that spent multiple hearings scolding federal prosecutors for references to Secor’s criticisms of Zionism, his work as an America First campus activist, or his hobbyist interest in firearms was now pointing to this First and Second Amendment activity as aggravating circumstances meriting his decision to more than double the maximum sentence under established guidelines.
The whole ordeal has left Secor, who was until his arrest well on his way to graduation and getting married, baffled and indignant. He has been able to prepare himself for what awaits him through his Catholic faith and belief that good will eventually triumph, according to his friends.
Christian has recently reported to begin his sentence at FCI Terminal Island, a prison famous for once housing Al Capone. He hopes to take advantage of the facility’s educational and technical programs, as well as help inmates in need.
Joseph Jordan is an independent journalist and political commentator.