A former Rocky Mount officer charged in connection with the Jan. 6 Capitol riot has had his release revoked.
On Wednesday, United States District Judge Christopher R. Cooper issued the order granting the United States’ motion to revoke the release of Thomas Robertson.
In a 14-page order, Cooper detailed the reasoning for his decision.
As explained below, there is probable cause to believe that Robertson committed a felony—willfully shipping or transporting firearms and ammunition despite being under felony indictment—while on pretrial release. Under the applicable statute, this finding gives rise to a rebuttable presumption that Robertson cannot be safely released into the community pending trial under any conditions. Robertson has not rebutted this presumption.Judge Christopher Cooper, Page 1 of Order
Investigators also say Robertson ordered more than $50,000 worth of firearms and over 5,000 rounds of ammunition. However, Roberston argues that ordering is not possession and he, therefore, didn’t violate any conditions.
Cooper continued on in his decision, giving four reasons for making the decision to revoke Robertson’s release:
- “The nature and circumstances of the offense charged,” do not weigh strongly either for or against detention. The allegations against Robertson are serious, include a felony charge and the D.C. Circuit has recognized that defendants charged with similar conduct on January 6 may properly be detained, depending on other relevant circumstances.
- “The weight of the evidence against” Robertson supports detention
- Robertson’s “history and characteristics,” do not reassure the Court that he can be safely released into the community pending trial. Both in the immediate aftermath of the riot and more recently, Robertson has expressed remorselessness and endorsed future political violence.
- “The nature and seriousness of the danger to any person or the community that would be posed by [Robertson’s] release,” also tend to support detention. Coincidentally or not, Robertson has also embarked on a remarkable shopping spree for high-powered assault weapons. Robertson’s procurement of these dangerous weapons under the surrounding circumstances heightens the risk to public safety, despite the fact that he might have to lie on a federal form in order to take physical possession of them.
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