Defendant Entered Senate Gallery, Took Selfies
WASHINGTON — A California man was sentenced today on a felony charge for his actions 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 that was in the process of ascertaining and counting the electoral votes related to the presidential election.
Andrew Alan Hernandez, 45, of Riverside, California, was sentenced to 18 months in prison in the District of Columbia for aiding and abetting in the obstruction of an official proceeding. Hernandez pleaded guilty on September 21, 2022. In addition to the prison term, U.S. District Court Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly ordered 36 months of supervised release and $2,000 restitution.
According to court documents, on Jan. 6, 2021, Hernandez attended a rally on the Ellipse and then marched to the Capitol. He was carrying a backpack and U.S. flag on a pole with a camera attached. Hernandez initially stood by a series of bicycle racks, set up to keep people from illegally entering the Capitol grounds. While he was there, at approximately 1:59 p.m., the mob pushed down the barricades and moved forward. Hernandez moved past the barricades and made his way up the steps leading to the East Plaza, part of a crowd pushing towards the Rotunda Door.
At approximately 2:37 p.m., a short time after the East Rotunda Door was initially breached, Hernandez entered the Capitol. He then made his way to the Senate Gallery, where he remained until approximately 2:45 p.m. He took a few “selfies” of himself inside the Senate Gallery and then departed, leaving the Capitol through the Rotunda Door at about 2:51 p.m.
Hernandez was arrested on Feb. 25, 2021, in Riverside, California.
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.
The case was investigated by the FBI’s Los Angeles and Washington Field Offices. Valuable assistance was provided by the Metropolitan Police Department and the U.S. Capitol Police.
In the 24 months since Jan. 6, 2021, more than 950 individuals have been arrested in nearly all 50 states for crimes related to the breach of the U.S. Capitol, including over 284 individuals charged with assaulting or impeding law enforcement. The investigation remains ongoing.