WASHINGTON, D.C. (WWTI) — A Watertown man has pleaded guilty to his actions during the breach of the U.S. Capital on January 6, 2021, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.
Rafael Rondon, 25, pleaded guilty to obstruction of an official proceeding and aiding and abetting in the obstruction of an official proceeding on December 5 in Washington D.C.
Rondon was previously arrested on October 1, 2021 in Syracuse, New York on the charges.
According to court documents, Rondon and his mother, Maryann Mooney-Rondon, 56, of Watertown, attended a rally on the Ellipse and then marched to the Capital where they illegally entered the grounds.
Documents state that the two entered the Capital Building at approximately 2:32 p.m. and entered the office suite of Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi about ten minutes later before moving into a conference room, where they assisted in stealing a laptop.
Rondon and his mother eventually moved to the Senate Gallery where they each stole an escape hood with a satchel and a filtering respiratory protective device before exiting the building around 2:52 p.m., documents state.
Maryann Mooney-Rondon was also charged in the case, but has pleaded not guilty and is awaiting further court proceedings, according to the the U.S. Attorney’s Office.
Rondon is set to be sentenced on March 13, 2023 and faces a statutory maximum sentence of 20 years for obstruction of an official proceeding, as well as potential financial penalties.
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. Assistance was provided by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of New York.
This 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. Assistance was provided by the Metropolitan Police Department and the U.S. Capitol Police.