TribLIVE’s daily and weekly email newsletters get the news and information you want delivered straight to your inbox.

Two Beaver County men who spent 25 minutes in the US – Capitol roaming around bragging about smoking marijuana in the building will be behind bars for 30 days.

Mitchell P. Vukich, 26, from New Brighton and Nicholas Perretta, 27, from Baden were in a video conference on Wednesday from the US District Judge Tanya S. Chutkan sentenced. Both men pleaded guilty in September on a single charge of parades, demonstrations, or picket lines in a Capitol participated in the destruction. Instead, they just wandered through the Capitol.

But Chutkan, who admitted that both men led productive lives and had no criminal record, was not influenced.

Just the presence of Vukich and Perretta in the Capitol That day, the judge said, gave numbers to other members of the mob who were violent and destructive – and encouraged them.

“They encouraged the rioters who came behind them,” she said. “Her actions were an attack on the American people and a democratic institution” and “deserve more than a slap on the wrist”.

She suggested that the defendants think of members of Congress who obeyed that day They had to hide their desks and call their families without knowing if they would ever see them again.

Chutkan added that the men wore eye protection, knowing they were likely to face opposition from law enforcement Then after the riot, the judge went on, texting their friends bragging about what had happened, saying that they were among the first 15 to enter the building and that they were in Capitol smoked a blunt.

Perretta apologized to law enforcement, Capitol staff, and members of Congress, and admitted that he was embarrassing himself and his family it.

“Although I can’t change the past, I can learn from it and be a better man,” he said.

Vukich, who works for a bottling company and does machine repairs, said he learned a valuable lesson.

“My very presence there added to the number of the crowd and encouraged them,” he said.

Mark Wilson, who represented Vukich, said his client wanted his actions against the American Make amends to people and be appalled and embarrassed about what he did.

Vukich, he said, was top of the class in high school and received a character award from his soccer team. He did not go to the Capitol with the intention of causing damage, said Wilson.

Instead, according to a judgment memorandum, Vukich and Perretta attended the rally because they thought it would be an important moment in history. Neither of the men voted for or supported former President Donald Trump, wrote Wilson.

After attending the rally, Vukich and Perretta went with the crowd to the Capitol out of curiosity, the court record says. </ Both defense attorneys stated in their parole arguments that their clients immediately cooperated with the investigation, stood before the FBI and quickly arranged a pleading guilty.

“He was aware that it was a messy, violent one Event acted, “said defense attorney Carmen Hernandez of her client Perretta. “He went through an open door. It wasn’t locked. I think jail time is unnecessary in this case. “

US Assistant Attorney Jacob Strain asked the court to sentence the defendants to 30 days in prison.

” What happened that day is despicable and horrific, ”he said. “Every rioter has a certain responsibility for what happened.”

Paula Reed Ward is a contributor to Tribune Review. You can contact Paula by email at [email protected] or on Twitter.

Support local journalism
and help us keep sharing the stories that matter to you and your community.

TribLIVE’s daily and weekly email newsletters get the news and information you want right to your inbox.