A business owner from the Hudson Valley already awaiting trial for his role in the Jan. 6 insurrection at the Capitol Building in Washington, DC is among those charged with seditious conspiracy charges after being named in a federal indictment along with the leader of the Oath Keepers militia.
Roberto Minuta, age 37, who owns an Orange County tattoo shop in Newburgh, was among the members of the right-wing group who were indicted by a federal grand jury in Washington, D.C. this week along with Oath Keepers founder and leader Stewart Rhodes.
On Jan. 6, 2021, Minuta was caught on camera with former President Donald Trump's longtime advisor Roger Stone while wearing a baseball hat and military-style vest with the Oath Keeper logo prior to the violent insurrection, prosecutors said following his arrest.
Following his greeting with Stone, Minuta can later be seen among the crowd that approached the Capitol and interacting with Capitol Police officers while wearing goggles.
He was originally charged with obstruction of Congress and unlawful entry following his March 2020 arrest.
New charges include:
- Corruptly obstructing an official proceeding;
- Conspiring to obstruct an official proceeding;
- Conspiring to prevent an officer of the United States from discharging a duty;
- Seditious conspiracy.
Other charges could be pending, prosecutors noted.
"Minuta and others affiliated with the Oath Keepers breached the U.S. Capitol grounds, where Minuta aggressively berated and taunted US Capitol police officers responsible for protecting the Capitol and the representatives inside of the Capitol,” prosecutors said.
Video footage of the riot shows Minuta harassing officers along with other rioters before exiting a damaged Capitol door.
“Specifically, Minuta yells at an officer, among other things, ‘All that’s left is the Second Amendment!’ while holding up two fingers, apparently referencing the right to keep and bear firearms,” the complaint states.
Prosecutors said that Minuta was a flight risk, and asked that he be held until his trial. Minuta was also cited for opening his tattoo parlor in defiance of the state’s COVID-19 guidance during the peak of pandemic, which prosecutors said is evidence “this man does not respect the law.”
US attorneys prosecuting him also made note that Minuta “had provided freelance security for various high profile individuals,” though Stone wasn’t specifically mentioned.
However, a judge released Minuta on bail, saying that he “was not engaged in any acts of violence on Jan. 6.
"I think it is an overstatement of the situation to say that because Mr. Minuta was wearing particular gear he is predisposed to particular acts of violence.”
Stone, a Fairfield County native (Norwalk) who attended high school in Northern Westchester County (John Jay in Lewisboro), made a statement to ABC News alleging that he does not know Minuta, nor was he “familiar with his name prior to his being identified in earlier media stories where it was alleged that he was involved in illegal events up at the Capitol.
“If he was indeed among those who volunteered to provide security while I visited Washington DC I was unaware of it.”
If convicted on the seditious conspiracy charge, Minuta will face a maximum term of 20 years in federal prison.
Click here to sign up for Daily Voice's free daily emails and news alerts.