WASHINGTON, D.C. -- April 13, 2022: The FBI announced Monday a federal jury found an off-duty Virginia police officer guilty of charges today for his acts during and after the invasion of the United States Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021. His and others' activities caused a snarl in a joint session of the United States Congress that was convened to determine and tally electoral votes in the presidential election.
Following a trial in the District of Columbia, Thomas Robertson, 49, of Ferrum, Virginia, was found guilty of a total of six offenses. Obstruction of an 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 were all found guilty by the jury. He was also found guilty of disorderly conduct in a Capitol building, a minor violation.
Jacob Fracker, 30, of Rocky Mount, Virginia, an off-duty officer and co-defendant, pleaded guilty to a federal conspiracy charge on March 18, 2021. He is currently awaiting his sentence.
According to court filings, Robertson and Fracker, both officers with the Rocky Mount, Virginia Police Department, were off duty on the morning of Jan. 6 when they drove to Washington, D.C. in Robertson's automobile. Both carried their police identification badges and firearms with them, but when they arrived in the Washington metropolitan area, they left them in their van. They went to a protest near the Washington Monument and then to the Capitol, where a mob was forming. Both donned gas masks and made their way to the Capitol's Lower West Terrace, where they joined an approaching crowd of protesters. Robertson, wielding a long wooden stick, confronted members of the Metropolitan Police Department, who had arrived to assist U.S. Capitol Police officers defending the West Front of the Capitol against the mob.
Fracker arrived in the Capitol at 2:14 p.m., followed by Robertson a few minutes later. They met inside the Capitol's Crypt, where they took a photo in front of a monument making an obscene gesture. Both Robertson and Fracker took photos and video footage of their activities throughout the day on their phones.
On January 13, 2021, Robertson and Fracker were detained. Federal law enforcement authorities contacted them before to their arrests, informing them of their arrest orders and instructing them to turn themselves up later that day. After realizing that he had been charged criminally for his actions at the Capitol, Robertson stole Fracker's phone and destroyed it, as well as his own, in order to conceal the proof of their crimes.
Robertson will be sentenced at a date to be set later by the Court. The charges of obstruction of an official proceeding and tampering with a document or official proceeding each carry statutory maximums of 20 years in prison. The charges of entering and remaining in a restricted building or grounds while carrying a dangerous weapon and disorderly and disruptive conduct in a restricted building while carrying a dangerous weapon each carry statutory maximums of 10 years in prison. The charge of civil disorder carries up to five years, and the charge of disorderly conduct in a Capitol building carries a statutory maximum of six months. A federal district court judge will determine any sentence after considering the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.
Wnctimes by Marjorie Farrington