WASHINGTON — The Justice Department unsealed new charges Friday against a New York mother and son accused of stealing an escape hood from the Senate Chamber and entering House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s conference room on January 6.
Maryann Mooney-Rondon and her son, Rafael Rondon, were arrested Friday in New York and made an initial appearance before a judge the same day.
In a sealed complaint filed September 2, the FBI says it received an electronic tip identifying the Rondons as two individuals pictured in surveillance images from the Capitol released by the agency. Investigators were then able to match the Rondons to other surveillance footage appearing to show them joining in the mob that entered the U.S. Capitol Building, including a group that entered the Speaker of the House’s conference room.
While in the room, the FBI says a video appears to show Mooney-Rondon advising another unidentified rioter to put on gloves before stealing a laptop. In a voluntary interview with the FBI, Mooney-Rondon allegedly admitted to giving the man gloves to “facilitate the theft” of a government laptop.
“I’m pretty sure I saw him put it in a backpack,” the FBI says Mooney-Rondon told them. “Probably 100 percent.”
Rondon also allegedly admitted to helping the man steal the laptop after he yelled at him and his mother to help.
“I was honestly a little bit afraid, because I didn’t know if he had anything on him… so I assisted him a little bit,” Rondon said, “and that was probably stupid of me.”
“I think I like pushed it in his bag a little using a glove ‘cause he didn’t want to get his fingerprints on it,” Rondon also said.
The FBI says Rondon also admitted he stole an emergency escape hood intended for members of Congress. Rondon can been seen wearing the hood standing next to his mother in surveillance images from the building.
Rondon and Mooney-Rondon are facing eight counts each, including at least two felony counts of theft of government property and obstruction of an official proceeding. It was not immediately clear whether the Rondons had retained legal counsel.
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