Federal prosecutors filed a motion Wednesday seeking to revoke pre-trial release for a former Rocky Mount police sergeant accused of taking part in the Jan. 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol.
In a 15-page document, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia said a search of Thomas Robertson’s residence one day earlier found an M4 rifle and something that appeared to be a partially assembled pipe bomb.
Robertson also had placed online orders for a total of 34 firearms since his indictment, authorities wrote.
The conditions of his current release bar him from possessing a gun, destructive device or other dangerous weapon. Those terms were reiterated during a Jan. 19 hearing after law enforcement found and confiscated eight guns in Robertson’s home, prosecutors wrote.
He had been directed by the court to relocate any firearms that might be in his house, according to Wednesday’s motion. Robertson asked a federal judge to waive the gun restriction in February but the judge reserved his ruling and the condition still remains in place.
The FBI executed a search warrant at Robertson’s house on Tuesday after suspecting that he was ordering guns and ammunition.
Agents reported finding a loaded M4 file in Robertson’s bedroom and a box labeled, in part, “booby trap” in an outbuilding.
The box contained a metal pipe with two end caps and a fuse inserted into a hole drilled into the apparatus, officials said. The device didn’t contain explosive powder but agents said powder was found nearby in an ammunition reloading station housed in the outbuilding.
Both Robertson and a Roanoke-based store told authorities that he never picked up the new gun orders being held for him. The store owner said Robertson had come in to see some of the firearms but told staff that the conditions of the court’s bond prohibited him from taking them.
Prosecutors wrote that it was illegal for someone under felony indictment to “ship, transport, or receive firearms or ammunition in interstate or foreign commerce.”
They asked the court to revoke Robertson’s bond, arguing that he has “flouted his release conditions,” and instead hold him in custody pending trial.
Robertson had not yet filed a response Wednesday. An email sent to him late that evening did not draw an immediate reply. He is accused of obstruction of an official proceeding, entering and remaining in a restricted building, and disorderly conduct in the federal case.
He’s pleaded not guilty. In interviews, he and another former Rocky Mount police officer who is also charged have said that they did not take part in any violence at the Capitol.
The town police department terminated their employment after they were charged. The officers had grievances pending in February contesting their dismissals.