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FBI: Stripped of Guns, Ex-Cop Charged in Capitol Riot Buys 34

Thomas Robertson also found to possess partial pipe bomb: prosecutors
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 2, 2021 12:14 PM CDT

(Newser) – A former Virginia police officer charged in the Capitol attack was ordered not to possess any weapons—which is why authorities were alarmed to find an email receipt showing he'd ordered 34 guns. Thomas Robertson, fired by the Rocky Mount Police Department shortly after his Jan. 13 arrest, was released from custody on several conditions, including that he relocate all firearms from his home within 48 hours. Yet "four days later, while executing a search warrant at the defendant’s house in connection with the Capitol riots charges, law enforcement discovered and seized eight firearms from the home," prosecutors write in court documents filed Wednesday, per BuzzFeed. Another search came Tuesday after FBI agents claimed to have found emails showing Robertson had ordered 34 guns, which were to be picked up from a broker, per the Washington Post.

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Inside Robertson's home, agents allegedly found a loaded M4 rifle, lots of ammunition, and a partial pipe bomb inside a box whose label mentioned "booby trap," per BuzzFeed. It was "a metal pipe with two ends caps, with a fuse inserted into a hole that had been drilled into the device," prosecutors write in a motion calling to void Robertson's release order so he can be jailed until his trial. "Although this device did not contain explosive powder, such powder was found nearby," they add, "this conduct, coupled with his calls for future violence, shows that no condition or combination of conditions can adequately protect the public from the defendant." Robertson, who's pleaded not guilty, described an unfolding revolution on Facebook in the days after the attack. "Peace is done. Now is the time for all the braggart 'Patriots' to buckle armor," read one post. (Read more Capitol attack stories.)

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