Former Cleona man sentenced to serve 9 months in prison for his role in the Jan. 6 riot

A former Cleona man was sentenced Monday to nine months in federal prison for his role in the Jan. 6 breaching the U.S. Capitol.

Cameron Edward Hess, 27, who now resides in Lancaster, was also sentenced before U.S. District Judge Royce C Lamberth to 36 months of supervised release, according to the U.S. Department of Justice. In October 2023, Hess pleaded guilty to a felony offense of obstructing, impeding or interfering with law enforcement officers during a civil disorder.

In letter to Lamberth before his sentencing, Hess said he understood his actions during the Jan. 6 capitol riots "were completely unjustified and inappropriate."

"As for my actions on January 6th, I am solely responsible for and was not coerced by any individuals to act the way that I did," he wrote. "For these actions, I am very ashamed and apologetic for. I am also very sorry to any individuals or groups that were harmed by my actions. On that day, I was drawn in by the crowd and gave in to mob mentality. My actions are not something today I am proud of or brag about to anyone."

Cameron Edward Hess, 27, of Lancaster, was sentenced to nine months in prison and 36 months of supervised release by U.S. District Judge Royce C. Lamberth Monday for his roll during the Capitol riots on Jan. 6.
Cameron Edward Hess, 27, of Lancaster, was sentenced to nine months in prison and 36 months of supervised release by U.S. District Judge Royce C. Lamberth Monday for his roll during the Capitol riots on Jan. 6.

Agents were able to identify Hess via U.S. Capitol CCTV video footage entering the Capitol Building on Jan. 6, 2021 through the east rotunda doors, according to court documents.

A short time later, riot police push Hess out of the Capitol building. Hess again pushes into the Capitol building at around 3:24 p.m. while law enforcement was trying to direct the rioters out of the rotunda door.

Hess had returned as police were attempting to close the rotunda doors and physically engaged with a municipal officer, the release said. Photos show Hess attempted to hold the door open as the officer working to close the door ordered Hess to stop. Officials said law enforcement successfully pushed Hess out of the rotunda doors.

While prosecutors Monday were asking for Hess to serve 12 months in prison for his role in the capitol riots, Elita Amato, Hess' attorney, asked that her client be sentenced to serve six months in home confinement. In a sentencing memorandum, Amato said Hess suffers from IPEX syndrome, a rare autoimmune disease that puts him at risk of various other ailments.

"The takeaway is that Mr. Hess is a very different person now than he was on Jan. 6, 2021, when he agreed to join his friend and come down to DC," she wrote. "He is not the same young immature 23-year-old who got caught up in the heat of the moment, the frenzy of the crowd, and stepped into the US Capitol and tried to push his way past the door entrance ... He now fully recognizes the impropriety of his actions. He admits his actions were 'unjustified and inappropriate.'"

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In his letter, Hess said he is "deeply embarrassed and regretful of the person" that he was on Jan. 6.

"This is not how I want to be remembered or defined as a person," he wrote. "I have learned a lot through this experience and am humbled to have gone through it for I believe I will come out a better and stronger person."

In the 37 months since Jan. 6, 2021, more than 1,313 individuals have been charged in nearly all states for crimes related to the breach of the U.S. Capitol, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office. This includes more than 469 individuals charged with assaulting or impeding law enforcement, a felony.

Matthew Toth is a reporter for the Lebanon Daily News. Reach him at mtoth@ldnews.com or on X at @DAMattToth.

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This article originally appeared on Lebanon Daily News: Former Cleona PA man to serve 9 months for role in Jan. 6 riot