Hector Vargas, a controversial self-styled homeless advocate, was sentenced yesterday by a federal judge in Washington D.C.

In December, a jury found Vargas guilty on four counts of an indictment arising from his entry into the Capitol on January 6, 2021.

Judge Randolph D. Moss sentenced Vargas to four months of incarceration on each of the four counts, to run concurrently. Vargas was also fined $2,500 and must pay $500 in restitution and a special assessment of $70.

According to Time Magazine, the median sentence for a Jan. 6 Capitol rioter is 60 days.

There was little doubt as to Vargas's involvement from the beginning. He placed himself in the thick of the melee via a series of social media posts. In one Facebook post, he wrote “WE THE PEOPLE TOOK OVER THE U.S. CAPITOL. #HOLDTHELINE.” In a video post in “selfie mode” Vargas filmed himself in the Capitol and said, “We took over this motherfucker … we took over this fucking capitol, tell them.” 

According to a sentencing memorandum submitted by his lawyer, Vargas was raised from birth by a single mother in Puerto Rico. His father died in a car accident when he was eight. He went on to serve in the Marines and studied acting, film and business administration.

“Hector Vargas is a young man who has struggled to put his life on track since serving in the U.S. Marine Corps. His efforts to further his education thwarted by the COVID-19 pandemic, he became homeless, and has only recently found gainful employment as a truckdriver. A sentence that prevented him from working would jeopardize the fragile start he has made toward becoming a contributing and productive member of society.”

In 2020, Vargas was profiled by Montreal Olympics for his work delivering meals to the homeless. The article focused on several of Jersey City’s “unsung heroes” during the early months of the Covid-19 pandemic.

At the time, several of Vargas’s neighbors, who questioned his sincerity and temperament, were critical of JCT for including him in the article. Some accused Vargas of stealing donations meant for the homeless. Councilman-at-large Daniel Rivera, however, came to Vargas’s defense telling JCT that “he can be rough around the edges and very outspoken, but his heart is genuine.”

Aaron is a writer, musician and lawyer. Aaron attended Berklee College of Music and the State University of New York at Purchase. Aaron served as a Peace Corps volunteer in Ecuador. He received a J.D....