Watertown man, his mother, facing federal charges in Jan. 6th Capitol riot
WATERTOWN, New York (WWNY) - A Watertown man and his mother were arraigned in federal court in Syracuse Friday, to answer to charges accusing them of taking part in the January 6th riot at the Capitol in Washington, D.C.
Rafael Rondon, 23, and Maryann Mooney-Rondon, 55, are facing seven charges, including one felony and six misdemeanors. They are:
- Theft of Government Property (misdemeanor)
- Obstruction of an Official Proceeding (felony)
- Entering/Remaining a Restricted Building (misdemeanor)
- Disorderly Conduct in a Restricted Building (misdemeanor)
- Entering/Remaining the Gallery of Congress (misdemeanor)
- Entering/Remaining in Certain Rooms of Capitol Building (misdemeanor)
- Disorderly Conduct in Capitol Building (misdemeanor)
A criminal complaint indicates both Rafael Rondon and Maryann Mooney-Rondon admitted to investigators that they entered the Capitol Building the day of the violent riot.
That complaint details the Rondons’ movements through the Capitol Building on January 6th. Some photos were depicted in FBI Capitol Violence Photographs “224″ and “225.” When interviewed by investigators, the Rondons’ admitted that they were the ones in those pictures.
Investigators also used Capitol surveillance and bystander video to pin down the Rondons’ alleged actions inside the Capitol Building. The duo is accused of entering the Capitol around 2:23 p.m., and making their way to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s conference room.
Inside Pelosi’s suite, Mooney-Rondon told an FBI agent she gave either her gloves or scarf to another man who used them to take a laptop without touching it.
Mooney-Rondon told the agent she was afraid of the man who stole the laptop, saying, “I was like, we gotta get out of here, this isn’t right, I mean he scared the crap out of me.”
Her son also told the agent he was, “honestly a little bit afraid, because I didn’t know if he had anything on him ... So I assisted him a little bit, and that was probably stupid of me.”
As for why they went to D.C. in the first place, Rafael Rondon said it was the same reason he thought others showed up, to quote “just have your voice heard.”
The pair also admitted to taking two emergency “escape hoods” from the Senate Gallery.
The FBI says they recovered the clothes the Rondons’ were wearing the day of the riot, along with the escape hoods, during a raid of their Watertown home on June 29th.
We’re attempting to contact the mother and son for comment. So far, we’ve heard nothing back.
Separately, Rafael Rondon was arraigned in federal court on an indictment that accuses him of keeping an unregistered sawed-off shotgun at his residence, a charge that, if found guilty, could mean ten years in prison and a fine up to $250,000.
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