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Former Rocky Mount officer opposes US motion to revoke his release

Thomas Robertson is facing charges in connection to the Jan. 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol.

A former Rocky Mount police officer charged in connection with the riots at the U.S. Capitol is responding to the federal government’s motion to revoke his release.
A former Rocky Mount police officer charged in connection with the riots at the U.S. Capitol is responding to the federal government’s motion to revoke his release.

ROCKY MOUNT, Va. – A former Rocky Mount police officer charged in connection with the riots at the U.S. Capitol is responding to the federal government’s motion to revoke his release.

Thomas Robertson filed the motion on July 4 after the United States filed a motion on June 30 to have Robertson detained pending trial for “substantial violations of the terms of his pre-trial release,” according to federal court documents.

Robertson is one of two former Rocky Mount police officers charged in connection with the Jan. 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol.

Robertson has been indicted on the following charges: obstruction of an official proceeding and aiding and abetting, disorderly and disruptive conduct in a restricted building, entering and remaining in a restricted building and disorderly conduct in the Capitol

On Tuesday, June 29, authorities executed a search warrant at Robertson’s property in Ferrum and said they found a loaded M4 rifle, a partially-assembled pipe bomb and they seized several span cans of ammunition and two boxes of 7.62 ammunition.

According to Robertson’s rebuttal, he did not have any firearms or destructive devices after Feb. 25. In the rebuttal, the defense said that ordering guns does not equate to possession and that the FBI is still investigating whether the items in question were shipped to Robertson’s home.

In Robertson’s response, he also claimed that no destructive devices were found in his home when it was searched on June 29.

According to the government’s initial filing last week, agents found a partially assembled pipe bomb inside a box with the words “booby trap,” but in Robertson’s response, the defense said the government failed to state that the box also had the words “ALERRT kit, props, and booby trap sims.” Robertson was a Level II instructor for ALERRT, which stands for Advanced Law Enforcement Rapid Respond, and court documents allege that the device is not a destructive device, but was rather used as part of the class as a training prop.

In his response, Robertson also said that the device was left by the FBI when they conducted a search and confiscated what they believed were firearms or destructive devices on June 19.

Court documents filed by Robertson also state that a gun FBI agents found on a bed belonged to Robertson’s son, who was at his home to retrieve ammunition before going shooting later that day on June 29. Robertson’s son said that he is aware that his father can’t have guns in his possession, and he is willing to submit under oath that the rifle belonged to him.

The rebuttal also discusses social media posts brought up in the government’s filing last week.

Below is a post that Robertson made on June 10 on Gunbroker.com, according to court documents:

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.

Robertson's post on Gunbroker.com, according to court documents

In conclusion, Robertson’s response reads as follows:

The Government motion states that there are “photographs and videos of him participating in the insurrection at the Capitol.” (Gov Motion P2, 14). Again this is not true. One January 6, 2021, Mr. Robertson asks a Capitol Police Officer whether he can enter the Capitol. He is told by a Capitol Police Officer that “he may enter.... just don’t go into any restrictive areas.” He enter the Capitol for less than ten minutes and leaves. He did not break anything or assault anyone. For nearly the same conduct, the Government has considered this activity to be misdemeanors and has accepted misdemeanor pleas from other persons charged on January 6, 2021.

Wherefore, the Defense respectfully requests that this Court deny the Government’s motion for violating his pretrial release order, and if necessary, request a hearing.

10 News has followed this story closely since it began. Here’s a look at all we’ve published, from newest to oldest:


About the Authors:

Lindsey joined the WSLS 10 team as a reporter in February 2019 and is thrilled to call Roanoke her new home!

Samantha Smith joined WSLS 10’s award-winning digital team as a digital content producer in July 2018.