Welcome to the Reuters.com BETA. Read our Editor's note on how we're helping professionals make smart decisions.
Skip to main content

United States

U.S. says 'pipe bomb' found in home of ex-cop charged in Capitol attack

2 minute read

Supporters of U.S. President Donald Trump climb on walls at the U.S. Capitol during a protest against the certification of the 2020 U.S. presidential election results by the U.S. Congress, in Washington, U.S., January 6, 2021. REUTERS/Jim Urquhart/File Photo

June 30 (Reuters) - A Virginia man awaiting trial on criminal charges stemming from the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol recently procured a pipe bomb and other weapons, a violation of his parole, federal prosecutors said on Wednesday.

U.S. Justice Department lawyers said in a court filing that they discovered a "loaded M4 rifle" and a "partially assembled pipe bomb," among other weapons, during a search of Thomas Robertson's home in Ferrum, Virginia.

Robertson is a former police sergeant in Rocky Mount, Virginia. The town's police department fired him and another officer, Jacob Fracker, and photographs surfaced of them inside the Capitol building during the deadly attack.

The two were charged on Jan. 13 with unlawful entry into a restricted area and violent entry and disorderly conduct on Capitol grounds.

A judge released Robertson from jail while he awaits trial, prohibiting him from possessing firearms.

Prosecutors said in Wednesday's court filing that the release order should be revoked immediately because Robertson violated the judge's orders and "presents a danger to the community that no release conditions will adequately mitigate."

Prosecutors did not say if Robertson planned to use the weapons, but alleged he recently made comments on an internet forum that suggest he is capable of violence.

"I have learned very well that if you dip your toe into the Rubicon ... cross it," Robertson allegedly said on the website Gunbroker.com. "Cross it hard and violent and play for all the marbles."

Prosecutors said Robertson's "possession of an explosive device and firearms, coupled with his extreme rhetoric advocating for violence indicating no remorse illustrate that the pending charges are unlikely to serve as a deterrent to future violence."

Mark Rollins, a lawyer for Robertson, did not immediately respond to a voicemail seeking comment.

Reporting by Jan Wolfe; Editing by Scott Malone and Jonathan Oatis

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

More from Reuters