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An Oath Keeper and accused Capitol rioter who owns a tattoo parlor in upstate New York unwittingly poured his heart out to an off-duty FBI agent who’d stopped by his business for an appointment.
Roberto Minuta, who’s facing serious conspiracy charges for his alleged role in the Jan. 6 insurrection, was lulled into a false sense of security when a group of people, including the agent, booked an appointment to get matching tattoos at his parlor, Casa Di Dolore, in Newburgh, New York, on July 17. During the three and a half hours that the off-duty fed and his entourage were getting tattooed, Minuta covered a lot of ground with regards to his case, according to recently unsealed court documents. He even ordered pizza.
Minuta told the group that his life “had been crazy since 6 January 2021,” according to the unclassified FBI memo. He explained that he was part of the security detail for right-wing operative and Trump ally Roger Stone on Jan. 6. He called the conspiracy charges “fake,” said he wasn’t involved in any conspiracy, and claimed he saw “antifa” at the Capitol (FYI, there’s absolutely no evidence to suggest that antifascist protesters were present at the Capitol).
He said he had to turn in his firearms in exchange for being released pending the outcome of his jury trial, and has had some problems with security at airports (plus, his travel is limited). He also talked about how his tattoo parlor had been vandalized in March after he’d been charged in connection with the Capitol riot.
Some parts of the FBI memo are redacted. For example, Minuta told the group that he spoke to someone twice on Jan. 6; once to provide information about someone’s security detail, and another to advise when the detail left (the name of that individual is redacted). He also said that the FBI already knew about those calls having gone through his phone records.
The off-duty agent, who submitted a memo to the FBI about their conversation in the tattoo parlor two days after the fact, insists that Minuta volunteered the information about his case (and that the agent asked only “one clarifying question,” which was whether the felony charges he was facing were for conspiracy). But Minuta’s lawyer is arguing the conversation wasn’t a cool way to get information out of her client, and that the interaction violated his constitutional rights. In a motion filed earlier this week, she asked the judge to throw out Minuta’s case entirely.
The Oath Keepers, an anti-government, conspiracy-oriented militia, has been under intense scrutiny since nearly 20 of its members have been charged for their alleged involvement in the Jan. 6 riot. In addition to being an Oath Keeper, Minuta had been photographed at earlier pro-Trump rallies in Washington, D.C., marching alongside members of the Proud Boys, another group that’s overrepresented in the Capitol riot defendants.