ANCHORAGE, Alaska – A New Yorker mother and son have been charged with theft for aiding the disappearance of a laptop computer belonging to the staff of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi during the January 6 riot after the FBI initially raided a house 4,500 miles away in Alaska, looking for the computer.
The FBI on Friday arrested Maryann Mooney-Rondon, 55, and her son, Rafael Rondon, 23, of Watertown, New York, in connection with the stolen laptop used only for presentations, according to court documents. The two also face other charges related to the riot on Capitol Hill.
Rafael Rondon also faces an unregistered sawn-off shotgun charge
Both appeared in federal court in Syracuse, New York on Friday and were released pending further trial, according to a statement from the United States Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of New York.
A message left on a list for Mooney-Condon in Watertown was not immediately returned Monday. Attempts to locate Rafael Rondon were not immediately successful.
The Capitol Riot was well documented by those who participated in it. Law enforcement used photos from the social media accounts of those who participated in the search for the suspects.
Advice to the FBI led them to mother and son, according to a narrative documented by an anonymous FBI special agent.
Mooney-Rondon reportedly admitted to having been both on Capitol Hill on the day of the riots and in Pelosi’s boardroom, according to the document. She allegedly provided a man with gloves or a scarf to steal the laptop without leaving fingerprints.
“He asked, he said, give me – I don’t know if it was gloves or a scarf I was wearing – and like I said he scared me,” he said. she stated in the documents.
There was an Ethernet connected to the computer, his son told FBI agents.
“If I remember correctly, the guy was going to pull it off. I’m like, man, don’t do that, I mean, I mean just the computer, you can’t pull the cables out, that’s gonna mess it up, ”Mooney-Rondon said, according to the document.
Mooney-Rondon then said she believed she saw the man put the computer in her backpack. His son told investigators he thought he pushed the computer “a little bit in his bag using a glove because he didn’t want to put his fingerprints on it,” the document said.
“So I helped him out a bit, and that was probably stupid of me,” he said in the document.
She and her son then proceeded to the Senate Gallery and then left the building when they saw it was overrun by protesters.
Rafael Rondon told officers he and his mother took the subway to Washington on January 6 “because I’m not taking my car into the city that, the Capitol, I’m about to break into”, according to the statement of the FBI agent.
The mother and son admitted they were the ones depicted in photos taken on Capitol Hill during the riots and distributed by the FBI, according to the document.
In late April, the FBI raided the Homer, Alaska business owned by Paul and Marilyn Hueper, who were in Washington for President Donald Trump’s rally that preceded the Capitol breach, but said they were there. had not participated. Marilyn Hueper told reporters it was a mistaken identity.
Photos of the two women showed they had similar hairstyles and wore a similar black coat that day.
Hueper said that when an FBI agent arrived at the resort, they said they were looking for Nancy Pelosi’s laptop. – It still does not explain why you are with me. Or Homer, Alaska, ”Hueper told officers, she later told The Associated Press.
In the FBI statement filed in the case of the New York residents, it notes that a search warrant was obtained for the Alaskan residence “based in part on evidence showing that residents (a married couple) entered. on the grounds of the US Capitol “. It also indicates that two people in Homer identified Marilyn Hueper as the person seen in the photos taken inside the Capitol during the riot.
However, according to the document, the FBI now says “there are probable reasons” to believe that mother and son are the two people shown in the photographs, along with their alleged confessions to be there and others. evidence.
“I feel like a cloud has risen for sure,” Hueper said in a text message to The Associated Press. However, she said she remains concerned about the freedom the FBI and others seem to have “to make fun of peaceful people, and doesn’t care how their weak investigative skills and super aggressive tactics are. cause harm while they are on their ‘noble cause quests.
A message sent to the FBI office in Anchorage asking for comment was not immediately returned on Monday.