New York Man Pleads Guilty to Felony Charge For Actions During Jan. 6 Capitol Breach
Defendant Assisted in Theft of Laptop from Office Suite
WASHINGTON – A New York man pleaded guilty today to a felony charge for his actions during the breach of the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021. His actions and the actions of others disrupted a joint session of the U.S. Congress convened to ascertain and count the electoral votes related to the 2020 presidential election.
Rafael Rondon, 25, of Watertown, New York, pleaded guilty in the District of Columbia to obstruction of an official proceeding and aiding and abetting in the obstruction of an official proceeding.
According to court documents, on Jan. 6, 2021, Rondon and his mother, Maryann Mooney-Rondon, attended a rally on the Ellipse and then marched to the Capitol, where they illegally entered the grounds. The two entered the Capitol Building at approximately 2:23 p.m. through the Senate Wing Door. They moved through the building and, at approximately 2:32 p.m., entered the office suite of the Speaker of the House. They then moved into a conference room, where they assisted an unidentified male in the theft of a laptop. They later moved to the Senate Gallery, where each stole an escape hood with a satchel, a filtering respiratory protective device maintained for members of Congress and staff. They exited the Capitol Building at approximately 2:52 p.m.
Maryann Mooney-Rondon, 56, also of Watertown, also is charged in this case. She has pleaded not guilty and is awaiting further court proceedings.
Rondon was arrested on Oct. 1, 2021, in Syracuse, New York. He is to be sentenced on March 13, 2023. He faces a statutory maximum of 20 years in prison for obstruction of an official proceeding, as well as potential financial penalties. A federal district court judge will determine any sentence after considering the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.
This case is being prosecuted by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia and the Department of Justice National Security Division’s Counterterrorism Section. Valuable assistance was provided by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of New York.
The case is being investigated by the FBI Albany Field Office and the FBI’s Washington Field Office, which identified Rondon as #224 in its seeking information photos. Valuable assistance was provided by the Metropolitan Police Department and the U.S. Capitol Police.
In the 22 months since Jan. 6, 2021, nearly 900 individuals have been arrested in nearly all 50 states for crimes related to the breach of the U.S. Capitol, including over 275 individuals charged with assaulting or impeding law enforcement. The investigation remains ongoing.
Anyone with tips can call 1-800-CALL-FBI (800-225-5324) or visit tips.fbi.gov.