Update: Jan. 6 Arrests

Nearly two years after the attack on the Capitol to disrupt the vote count that certified Joe Biden as president, 866 people have been arrested and accused of charges that range from trespassing to violent attacks on police officers. About half of those sentenced have received prison time.

Five men from Putnam County, two from southern Dutchess and two with ties to Newburgh were among those arrested. Here is the status of their cases.

Robert Ballesteros, Mahopac
Ballesteros, 28, 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, Ballesteros said he had “made my stand.” He pleaded guilty to a count of “parading, demonstrating or picketing” inside the Capitol and on April 28 was sentenced to 36 months of probation and 40 hours of community service, and ordered to pay $500 in restitution.

Robert Chapman, Carmel
Chapman, 51, drew the FBI’s attention after a person with whom he interacted through an online dating service alerted agents that he had written: “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.” Chapman pleaded guilty to a count of parading, demonstrating or picketing and on May 18 was sentenced to 18 months of probation (including three months of electronic monitoring), 60 hours of community service, and ordered to pay $500 in restitution and $742 in fines.

Edward “Jake” Lang, Newburgh
Arrested Jan. 16, 2021; remains incarcerated
The FBI said Lang, 26, 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.” He was arrested on Jan. 16, 2021; at a hearing in December, a prosecutor said Lang had turned down a plea deal with a sentence of up to about 6½ years. On April 5, Lang’s defense filed a motion to dismiss one of the counts, obstruction of an official proceeding, arguing that “his presence near the Capitol did not directly go after the vote counting.” On June 7, the judge agreed. In its most recent motion, Lang’s defense argued that his constitutional rights have been violated because he cannot use a laptop in his cell or “speak to anyone he so chooses.” The judge has yet to rule.

lang at capitol by reuters

The FBI says the man in the gas mask in this photo taken at the Capitol is Jake Lang of Newburgh. (Photo by Shannon Stapleton/Reuters)

Roberto Minuta, Newburgh
Arrested March 8, 2021; released on personal recognizance
An FBI agent testified that Minuta, 37, was at the Capitol “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 but lives in Texas, was charged with 17 other alleged members of the Oath Keepers. He was indicted on five counts: seditious conspiracy; conspiracy to obstruct an official proceeding; obstruction of an official proceeding; conspiracy to prevent an officer from discharging any duties; and tampering with documents or proceedings. He pleaded not guilty on Dec. 6 but no trial date has been set.

Will Pepe, Beacon
Arrested Jan. 12, 2021; 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. Following his arrest, Pepe was fired from his job at Metro-North in Brewster. He was indicted on four counts, including conspiracy; assaulting, resisting or impeding certain officers; and aiding and abetting. A trial is scheduled for July 17.

A man identified as Pepe, holding a walkie-talkie, is shown moving a barrier in a photo released by Justice Department.

Gregory Purdy Jr., Kent
Arrested Nov. 10; released on personal recognizance
A 2016 Carmel High School graduate, the 24-year-old was one of six candidates in May 2020 for two seats on the Carmel school board (he finished fifth) and in 2016 managed a campaign by his father, Gregory Purdy-Schwartz, a Republican who hoped to unseat longtime state Assembly Member Sandy Galef, a Democrat whose district includes Philipstown and Kent. Purdy Jr. was indicted on nine charges that included assaulting, resisting or impeding police officers and illegal entry. Purdy’s uncle, Robert Turner, 39, of Poughkeepsie, who traveled with him and faces the same charges, was arrested Nov. 22. Both pleaded not guilty. A status conference is scheduled for the week of Nov. 14.

An image from a video taken on Jan. 6 at the Capitol shows a man identified as Gregory Purdy Jr. of Carmel pushing on a barricade erected by police.

Matthew Purdy, Kent
Arrested Nov. 10; released on personal recognizance
Gregory Purdy’s younger brother, 22 and also a Carmel High School grad, was indicted on Jan. 14 on four counts, including disorderly conduct and illegal entry. He pleaded not guilty; a status conference is scheduled for the week of Nov. 14.

William Vogel, Pawling
Arrested Jan. 26, 2021; released on personal recognizance
The FBI says Vogel, 27, recorded himself inside the Capitol and posted the video to Snapchat. He pleaded not guilty to unlawful entry, disorderly conduct and violent entry; a trial is scheduled for April 11.

Anthony Vuksanaj, Mahopac
When police detained Vuksanaj, 52, in June 2021, in connection to a robbery, records indicated his phone had been at the Capitol on Jan. 6. He pleaded guilty to a single count (parading, demonstrating or picketing) as part of a plea agreement and on April 29 was sentenced to 42 days in jail (served in three periods of 14 days each), 36 months of probation (including three months of electronic monitoring) and ordered to pay $500 restitution and a $2,000 fine.

Anthony Vuksana capitol riot

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


Comments are closed.