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Press Release

Watertown Man Pleads Guilty to Possession of a Sawed-Off Shotgun

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Northern District of New York
Rafael Rondon Will Also Face Sentencing in Washington, D.C. for January 6, 2021, Capitol Breach Charge

SYRACUSE, NEW YORK - Rafael Rondon, age 25, of Watertown, New York pled guilty today in federal court in Syracuse to possession of an unregistered sawed-off shotgun, announced United States Attorney Carla B. Freedman and Janeen DiGuiseppi, Special Agent in Charge of the Albany Field Office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI).

As part of his guilty plea today, Rafael Rondon admitted that on June 29, 2021, he possessed an unregistered sawed-off shotgun hidden at a relative’s property in Lewis County, New York. The sawed-off shotgun was recovered after FBI Agents, U.S. Capitol Police, and New York State Police executed a federal search warrant at Rondon’s residence in Watertown, New York on June 29, 2021, for evidence related to criminal activity at the United States Capitol Building on January 6, 2021. During the search of the Rondon residence in Watertown, the cut barrel of a 12-gauge shotgun was discovered. While being questioned, Rondon admitted that he possessed a sawed-off shotgun, and later took Agents to a relative’s property in nearby Lewis County where the unregistered short-barreled 12-gauge firearm was recovered from an outbuilding.

Sentencing for his conviction for possession of an unregistered sawed-off shotgun is scheduled for April 21, 2023, in Syracuse, New York, at which time Rafael Rondon faces a maximum sentence of up to 10-years in prison, a fine of up to $250,000.00, and a term of supervised release of up to 3 years.  A defendant’s sentence is imposed by a judge based on the statute the defendant is charged with violating, the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines, and other factors.

Rafael Rondon also pled guilty December 5, 2022, in United States District Court for the District of Columbia to Obstruction of an Official Proceeding (felony), for his activities inside the U.S. Capitol Building on January 6, 2021.  Sentencing on that case is scheduled for March 13, 2023, in Washington, D.C., at which time he faces a maximum sentence of up to 20-years imprisonment, a fine of up to $250,000.00, and a term of supervised release of up to 3 years.

The Northern District of New York case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), the United States Capitol Police, and the United States Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF), with assistance from the New York State Police. The indictment charging Rafael Rondon in United States District Court for the Northern District of New York is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Stephen Green and Richard Southwick. The case involving the January 6, 2021, Capitol breach charge is being prosecuted by the United States Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia.

Updated December 16, 2022

Topics
Firearms Offenses