Some Capitol rioters, facing felony charges for their actions on Jan. 6, have shown remorse. Some have even apologized, while others have claimed that the insurrection they participated in was all Donald Trump’s fault. But not Thomas Robertson.
Instead, the former Rocky Mount, VA police officer who stormed the Capitol with his colleague, has spent his time out on bail amassing a huge arsenal of weapons and constructing a pipe bomb labeled “Booby Trap.”
“On June 29, 2021, following a lawfully authorized search of the defendant’s residence, law enforcement discovered that the defendant violated his release conditions by possessing a loaded M4 rifle and a partially-assembled pipe bomb at his home, and by purchasing an arsenal of 34 firearms online and transporting them in interstate commerce while under felony indictment,” according to court documents filed on Wednesday.
Prosecutors are now seeking Robertson’s detention until his trial, claiming that the former police officer “has shown utter disregard for the Court’s orders prohibiting his possession of firearms and other weapons,” and is a danger to the public.
Robertson stormed the Capitol with fellow police officer Jacob Fracker, then posted a picture of them inside the building on Instagram. He seems to have shown little remorse for his actions. In multiple Facebook posts on Jan. 8, he said he was proud of the picture, and repeatedly called for further violence.
“The next revolution started in DC 1/6/21. The only voice these people will now listen to is VIOLENCE,” Robertson said on Facebook. “So,respectfully. Buckle armor or just stay at home.”
Robertson, who at the time of the riot was a police officer in the town of Rocky Mount, was arrested on Jan. 13 and released on bail. His release conditions included a stipulation that he “refrain from possessing a firearm, destructive device, or other dangerous weapon.”
He was also ordered to relocate any firearms he already possessed by Jan. 15, but a search of his house on Jan. 19 found the following eight weapons still in his possession:
In February, the FBI obtained a warrant to monitor Robertson’s email accounts and found evidence that he was buying and selling guns and ammunition across state lines. Some of the messages included in the court documents revealed that he was selling large amounts of ammunition for tens of thousands of dollars.
In total the FBI found evidence that Robertson had purchased 34 weapons since his release on bail, and was keeping the guns with a security and training company called Tactical Operations Inc in nearby Roanoke. A company representative told the FBI that Robertson had visited the company’s location to “handle several of these guns” as recently as last week.
A search of Robertson’s house found a M4 rifle on his bed and a partially completed pipe bomb in an outhouse on the premises. While the item did not contain any explosive powder, such powder was found nearby in the out-building’s ammunition reloading station.
In making the case for Robertson to be detained ahead of his trial, the prosecutors said he posed danger to the public, pointing to the arsenal of weapons and ammunition he has amassed and his calls for further violence in his Facebook posts.
They also pointed to a post on the Gunbroker.com website that Robertson made on June 10 in relation to the charges against him:
“I’ve said before. They are trying to teach us a lesson. They have. But its’ definitely not the intended lesson. I have learned that if you peacefully protest than you will be arrested, fired, be put on a no fly list, have your name smeared and address released by the FBI so every loon in the US can send you hate mail. I have learned very well that if you dip your toe into the Rubicon. . . . cross it. Cross it hard and violent and play for all the marbles.”