Third Putnam Man Arrested in Capitol Riot

Anthony Vuksana capitol riot

A photo included by the FBI in a criminal complaint last week against Anthony Vuksanaj of Mahopac

Allegedly identified by detective from earlier encounter

FBI agents arrested a Putnam County man last week on charges that he illegally entered the Capitol during a violent demonstration on Jan. 6.

Anthony Vuksanaj, 52, of Mahopac, pleaded not guilty in federal court in White Plains to charges of trespassing, disorderly conduct and “parading, demonstrating or picketing in a Capitol building.” He is the third resident of Putnam to be charged in connection with the riot.

In a court document unsealed on Sept. 30, an FBI agent said that police had detained Vuksanaj and two other people on June 6 in connection to a robbery at knifepoint. He denied being involved but a search warrant revealed that his phone had been at the Capitol on Jan. 6, the FBI said, and the agency received a tip with video clips that appear to show Vuksanaj inside the building. 

He was identified by one of the detectives who interviewed him about the June robbery, the FBI said. It said Vuksanaj was also filmed inside the building by a documentary filmmaker and security cameras.

Two years ago, in June 2019, Vuksanaj and his wife, Gina, were arrested in Somers and charged with criminal mischief as a hate crime. He also was charged with criminal possession of a weapon. According to news reports that cited the New York State Police, the couple attempted to forcibly remove a person from a vehicle during a domestic dispute and damaged her car with a tire iron, and the crimes appeared to be related to the victim’s sexual orientation.

The Accused

Other men from Putnam and Dutchess counties who have been charged in connection with the Jan. 6 riot include:

ballesteros

Ballesteros

Robert Ballesteros, Mahopac
Arrested March 15, released on personal recognizance
According to court documents, Ballesteros posted a video on Instagram of himself inside the Capitol wearing a black mask. When asked online by another Instagram user if he had been inside, the FBI stated, Ballesteros said he had “made my stand” and that “some kid told me he tipped off the [FBI] hotline.” He also said he had video of the killing of another protester, Ashli Babbitt.

Chapman

Chapman

Robert Chapman, Carmel
Arrested April 21, released on personal recognizance
Chapman drew the FBI’s attention after a person with whom he interacted through an online dating service alerted agents to a remark and photo posted by someone with that name. In the message, “Robert” wrote that “I did storm the Capitol. I made it all the way into Statuary Hall.” His potential date replied: “We are not a match.” He conceded, “I suppose not.”

lang screen shot

Lang

Jake Lang, Newburgh
Arrested Jan. 16, remains incarcerated
The FBI said Lang can be seen in the crowd wearing a green-and-black gas mask and striking officers’ shields with a bat. On Jan. 7, the day after the riot, Lang posted to Twitter, according to the charging documents: “I watched a woman die yesterday in front of my eyes. I saved two others from being trampled and suffocated by Capitol Police. They murdered her and tried to murder many, many more. This is an act of war by TYRANTS against the American people.”

Roberto Minuta

The FBI says this image shows Minuta.

Roberto Minuta, Newburgh
Arrested March 8, released on personal recognizance
An FBI agent testified that Minuta was at the Capitol on Jan. 6 “equipped with military-style attire and gear,” including ballistic goggles, a radio earpiece and radio, hard-knuckle tactical gloves, bear spray and apparel emblazoned with a crest related to the Oath Keepers militia. He “aggressively berated and taunted” police officers before entering the building, the agent said. Minuta, who owns a tattoo parlor in Newburgh, was indicted with 11 other alleged members of the Oath Keepers.

Pepe

Will Pepe, Beacon
Arrested Jan. 12, released on personal recognizance
Prosecutors allege Pepe, Dominic Pezzola of Rochester and Matthew Greene of Syracuse acted together as members of the far-right Proud Boys by coordinating travel and lodging, using earpieces and radios to communicate, dismantling barriers and breaking windows. Pezzola and Pepe, who was fired from his job at Metro-North in Brewster, have pleaded not guilty. Pezzola and Greene remain incarcerated.

Vogel

William Vogel, Pawling
Arrested Jan. 26, released on personal recognizance
The FBI says Vogel recorded himself inside the Capitol and posted the video to Snapchat. At least four people who saw the video reported it to the FBI and identified him, the agency said. Vogel pleaded not guilty to unlawful entry, disorderly conduct and violent entry.

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