It was a brisk morning in Orange County California. 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: on January 6th, Secor had entered the US Capitol 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 the Main Street Tribune 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 Christian’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.
But their optimism was unfounded. When it was Secor’s turn, the judge refused to take into account the fact that Secor was employed, a successful student, and active with his several ties 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.
Following the physically and psychologically challenging experience, Secor was finally granted a draconian bond of $300,000 dollars 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 Christian’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.
An individual who worked in the Washington DC court system told the Main Street Tribune that this level of strict adherence for other suspects in Christian’s situation is virtually unheard of.
His legal battle was also looking up. Secor had drawn Judge Trevor N. McFadden in his case, a Trump-appointee who has publicly stated that people should not face lengthy prison sentences for non-violently entering the Capitol.
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 January 6th) and his political organizing at UCLA. Christian was the founder of the second national chapter Nick Fuentes’ America First campus group.
The Department of Justice 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 January 6th, Christian never made any physical contact with law enforcement.
Federal prosecutors and FBI agents nevertheless menaced Secor during his legal woes. Agents sought information on Nick Fuentes and others he had contact with over the years. They also began threatening to charge his loved ones for procedural crimes if he did not speak to them. The young man held firm and turned down every attempt by the FBI to interview him.
Eventually, 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, Christian should’ve only been sentenced to 12 to 18 months in prison for his obstruction charge.
Despite all of the legal and mitigating circumstances, Judge 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 3 and a half years in federal prison the whole time, regardless of the circumstances.
Observers, including Christian’s probation officer who had recommended leniency after watching his good behavior, were taken aback by McFadden’s viciousness.
The judge that spent multiple hearings telling Department of Justice prosecutors that Secor’s criticisms of Zionism, his work as an America First campus activist, or his hobbyist interest in firearms were not relevant to the case was now pointing to these very things as aggravating circumstances meriting his decision to more than double the maximum sentence under established guidelines.
Assistant US Attorney Kimberly Paschall, who asked for an even steeper punishment, admitted that Secor’s paleo-conservative political ideology and association with Nick Fuentes was the outrageous factor she sought to punish.
Neither the judge nor prosecutor hid the fact that they wanted Christian to suffer for his beliefs, rather than his actions.
To add fuel to the fire, the feds then began leaking surveillance images they took days before Christian’s arrest to state-run left-wing media outlets like NPR and PBS.
This out of context photo was blasted everywhere in the media in hopes of manufacturing the public perception of Secor as a nefarious terrorist.
In truth, the above image was taken by an FBI spy van parked near his residence, photographing him as he brought groceries home.
The whole ordeal has left Secor — who was excited to graduate from UCLA, begin his life and get 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.
Secor’s family has also been burdened by hefty legal fees. Neither Nick Fuentes, Donald Trump, or anyone affiliated with their groups have offered any kind of solidarity or support for Christian.
At the end of November, he will begin serving his hefty prison stretch 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.