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Former OFFICER Sentenced to Over 7 Years in Prison in Jan. 6 Capitol Breach

An off-duty former Virginia officer who entered the U.S. Capitol with a fellow officer on Jan. 6, 2021, has been sentenced to over seven years in prison, an interval like the longest prison sentence yet in cases linked to the Jan. 6 U.S. Capitol breach.

On Jan. 6, 2021, proceedings at the U.S. Capitol for a joint session of Congress to count and certify electoral votes for the 2020 presidential election were temporarily interrupted whenever a sizable band of protesters and rioters entered the building and its own surrounds. A large number of other protesters, mostly peaceful, remained outside.

Thomas Robertson, 49, aformer police sergeantwith the Rocky Mount, Virginia, Police Department, declined to handle the court in Washington on Aug. 11, before U.S. District Judge Christopher Cooper sentenced him to seven years and 90 days.

Robertson also faces 3 years of supervised release after his prison term. He also must pay $2,000 in restitution.

He gets credit for the 13 months he’s got already spent in custody; Robertson was released after he was arrested and charged in January 2021, but he was rearrested in July 2021 after Cooper ruled he violated the terms of his pre-trial release by possessing firearms.

Specifically, the judge discovered that Robertson violated court orders and continued to get what prosecutors referred to as an arsenal of guns online. FBI agents also found a loaded M4 rifle and a partially assembled pipe bomb at his home throughout a search.

Cooper said he was troubled by Robertsons conduct since his arrest in January 2021not merely his stockpiling of guns but additionally his words. The judge noted that after Jan. 6, Robertson told a pal he was ready to fight and die in a civil war.

Federal prosecutors had recommended eight years for Robertson, while his defense attorney had asked for a sentence of only 15 months.

Lengthiest Sentence in Jan. 6 Cases

The Justice Department noted that a lot more than 860 folks have been arrested for crimes linked to the breach of the U.S. Capitol since Jan. 6, 2021. This consists of over 260 those who have been charged with assaulting or impeding police.

Robertsons sentenceof 87 months may be the lengthiest prison sentence yet in cases linked to the Jan. 6 breach of the Capitol, and is on par with that of Guy Reffitt, a 49-year-old Texas man who entered the Capitol grounds on Jan. 6 while armed with a gun.

A jury in April this season had convicted Robertson of five felony charges: obstruction of the official proceeding, civil disorder, entering and remaining in a restricted building or grounds while carrying a dangerous weapon, disorderly and disruptive conduct in a restricted building while carrying a dangerous weapon, and tampering with a document or proceedings. Robertson was also found guilty ofa misdemeanor offensedisorderly conduct in a Capitol building.

Robertson carried a big wooden stick and confronted members of the Metropolitan Police Department, who had arrived to supply back-up to U.S. Capitol Cops who have been defending the West Front of the Capitol from the mob, the Justice Department said, citing court papers.

Prosecutors argued that Robertson anticipated violence on Jan. 6, and he packed gas masks for himself andJacob Fracker, in addition to military food rations, water, and a big wooden stick.

Robertson used his police training to block Metropolitan COPS attempting to restrain the mob, Assistant U.S. Attorney Elizabeth Aloi wrote in the governments sentencing memo.

Robertsons lawyers said that the army veteran was utilizing the stickdeemed a dangerous weapon by federal authoritiesto help him walk because he’s got a limp after being shot in the proper thigh while working as an exclusive contractor for the Defense Department in Afghanistan in 2011.

Fellow Officer Pleaded Guilty

Anotheroff-duty officerwith the Rocky Mount, Virginia, Police DepartmentJacob Fracker, 30was with Robertson on Jan. 6, 2021.Fracker was scheduled to be tried alongside Robertson, however in March 2021, Fracker made a decision to plead guilty to a federal conspiracy charge and decided to cooperate with federal authorities. His sentencing is scheduled for Aug. 16.

Prosecutors have asked Cooper to spare Fracker from the prison term and instead sentence him to half a year probation plus a amount of home detention. They said Frackers fulsome cooperation and trial testimony was crucial in securing convictions against Robertson.

Court papers say thatRobertson and Fracker headed for Washington in Robertsons car on the morning of Jan. 6, 2021.A third man, a neighbor who was simply not charged in the event, was also using them.

After arriving in Washington, Robertson and Fracker attended a rally in the Washington Monument area and later joined an advancing mob of rioters at the low West Terrace of the Capitol building,the Justice Department said.

The off-duty officers separately entered the Capitol building around 2: 15 p.m. within a few minutes of every other, convening in the Capitols Crypt where they took a selfie of themselves. Both men continued to utilize their cell phones to document their activity during the day.

Both men werearrested on Jan. 13, 2021.

Ahead of their arrests, federal police officers called them, informed them of these arrest warrants, and ordered them to show themselves in later in your day, the Justice Department said.But Robertson destroyed Frackers phone and their own phone after learning of the criminal charges linked to this conduct at the Capitol, the department noted.

In a letter to the judge, Robertson said that Fracker actually destroyed the mobile phones, and later lied to the FBI and the court about any of it.Robertson also said he never hadany intention to disrupt Congress.

He told the judge he takes full responsibility for his actions on Jan. 6, andany poor decisions he made. He also noted thatthe content of his social media marketing posts before and after Jan. 6 were because of mixture of stress, alcohol abuse, and submersion in deep rabbit holes of election conspiracy theory.

In a Facebook post on Nov. 7, 2020, Robertson said that being disenfranchised by fraud is my hard line. He also wrote: Ive spent the majority of my adult life fighting a counter insurgency. [Im] going to become section of one, and an effective one.

The Associated Press and Reuters contributed to the report.

Mimi Nguyen Ly

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Mimi Nguyen Ly covers world news with a concentrate on U.S. news. Contact her at mimi.nl@epochtimes.com

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