PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — The fourth person from Rhode Island charged with taking part in the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol is scheduled to plead guilty in the case.
Juan Rodriguez, of Central Falls, a change of plea hearing scheduled for Friday afternoon before a U.S. magistrate judge in Washington, D.C. He will appear remotely, according to a docket entry in his case.
Rodriguez was taken into custody in July and charged with entering and remaining in a restricted building, disorderly and disruptive conduct in a restricted building, disorderly conduct in a Capitol building, and parading, demonstrating or picketing in a Capitol building.
It is unclear if any of the charges will be dropped as part of a plea deal with prosecutors. A plea agreement — which would spell out those details — as not yet been filed.
Court documents from an FBI investigation show agents claim Rodriguez and two other men locked themselves inside a Senate staff office and refused to open the door for Capitol police officers on Jan. 6, as the day devolved into chaos.
FBI investigators used photos of Rodriguez wearing a black and yellow “Batman” ski hat from Capitol building surveillance video to identify him.
He was eventually escorted from the building only to return asking officers for his cellphone back, which he said he left in the senate office to charge, according to charging documents.
The court document says the officers “…found his phone, checked to confirm that it was his, and then returned it.”
At the time of his arrest, Rodriguez told a 12 News reporter, “I went to go see a Trump rally, and like everybody that went there, I didn’t expect things to pop off the way they did.”
He was the fourth Rhode Island man to be charged for taking part in the riots. Bernard Joseph Sirr, of North Kingstown, pleaded guilty earlier this year for his role in the attack and was sentenced to two months in federal prison. He is now on home confinement.
William Cotton, of Hopkinton, also pleaded guilty and was given nine months of probation.
The first defendant from Rhode Island — Timothy Desjardins — is still awaiting trial. His case was delayed because he was also charged in another case after a standoff with Providence police on Federal Hill and a separate road rage incident. He was given an 18-year sentence. His next hearing in the Jan. 6 prosecution is scheduled for December.