Off-duty police officer found guilty by jury of felony charges for actions related to capitol breach | USAO-DC

WASHINGTON — An off-duty Virginia police officer was found guilty today by a federal jury of charges for his actions during and after the breach of the U.S. Capitol on January 6, 2021. His actions and those of others have disrupted a joint session of the United States Congress met to verify and count electoral votes related to the presidential election.

Thomas Robertson, 49, of Ferrum, Va., was convicted of a total of six counts following a trial in the District of Columbia. The jury found him guilty of five felonies: obstruction of official process, civil disorder, entering and staying in a restricted building or land while carrying a dangerous weapon, disorderly and disruptive conduct in a restricted building while carrying a dangerous weapon and tampering with a document or procedure. He was also convicted of the misdemeanor of disorderly conduct in a capitol building.

Another off-duty officer and co-defendant, Jacob Fracker, 30, of Rocky Mount, Va., pleaded guilty on March 18, 2021 to a federal conspiracy charge. He awaits his sentencing.

According to court documents, Robertson and Fracker, both officers with the Rocky Mount, Virginia Police Department, were off duty when they drove to Washington, D.C. in Robertson’s car on the morning of Jan. 6. Both brought their police ID badges and firearms. but left them in their vehicle when they arrived in the Washington metro area. They drove to the Washington Monument area, where they witnessed a rally, then headed to the Capitol, where a crowd was gathering. Both donned gas masks and approached the Lower West Terrace of the Capitol, where they joined an advancing mob of rioters. Robertson carried a large wooden baton and confronted members of the Metropolitan Police Department, who had arrived to provide backup to US Capitol Police officers who were defending the Capitol’s western front from the crowd.

Fracker entered the Capitol around 2:14 p.m. and Robertson entered a few minutes later. They found themselves inside the Capitol’s crypt, where they took a selfie of themselves making an obscene gesture in front of a statue. Throughout the day, Robertson and Fracker used their cell phones to take photos and video footage of their activity.

Robertson and Fracker were arrested on January 13, 2021. Prior to their arrest, federal law enforcement officers called them, advised them of their arrest warrants, and ordered them to surrender later that day. . After learning that he had been charged for his conduct at the Capitol, Robertson took Fracker’s phone and destroyed it and his own phone to hide evidence of their crimes.

Robertson will be sentenced on a date to be set later by the Court. The charges of obstructing an official process and falsifying a document or official process each carry a statutory maximum of 20 years in prison. The charges of entering and staying in a restricted building or land while carrying a dangerous weapon and disorderly and disruptive conduct in a restricted building while carrying a dangerous weapon each carry statutory maximum penalties of 10 years. from prison. The civil disorder charge carries up to five years, and the disorderly conduct charge in a Capitol building carries a legal maximum of six months. A federal district court judge will determine any sentence after considering US sentencing guidelines and other statutory factors.

The case is being prosecuted by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia with assistance from the Counterterrorism Section of the Justice Department’s National Security Division. Valuable assistance was provided by the US Attorney’s Office for the Western District of Virginia.

The case is being investigated by the FBI’s Washington Field Office with assistance from the Roanoke Resident Agency of the FBI’s Richmond Field Office. Valuable assistance was provided by the US Capitol Police and the Metropolitan Police Department.

In the 15 months since Jan. 6, 2021, nearly 800 people have been arrested in nearly all 50 states for crimes related to the breach of the U.S. Capitol, including more than 250 people charged with assaulting or obstructing the ‘law application. The investigation is still ongoing.

Anyone with tips can call 1-800-CALL-FBI (800-225-5324) or visit tips.fbi.gov.


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