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Former Rocky Mount, Virginia, police officer Sgt. Thomas Robertson was sentenced to over seven years in prison on August 11 for storming the Capitol on January 6th.


Robertson, who was off duty on January 6th, was convicted in April of attacking the U.S. Capitol to obstruct Congress from certifying the results of the 2020 presidential election. U.S. District Judge Christopher Cooper sentenced Robertson to seven years and three months in prison, with an additional three years of supervised release afterwards. 

Sgt. Thomas Robertson Entering the U.S. Capiton on January 6, 2021

Robertson’s sentence matches the largest sentence given so far for events related to January 6th, matching that of Three Percenters member Guy Reffit.

Robertson has already spent 13 months in custody, after Cooper ruled that he had violated the terms of his pretrial release by possessing firearms and advocating for violence. After January 6, Robertson told friends that he was prepared to fight and die in a civil war over the theory that the 2020 election was stolen. 


Robertson, who was initially freed on pretrial supervision, was detained for having “a loaded M4 rifle and a partially-assembled pipe bomb at his home, and by purchasing an arsenal of 34 firearms online and transporting them in interstate commerce.” 


Judge Cooper recommended a prison term ranging from seven years and three months, which was his sentence, to nine years. “It’s a long time because it reflects the seriousness of the offenses that you were convicted of,” he said. 


Robertson was found guilty of six counts, which included charges of interfering with police officers and entering a restricted area with a dangerous weapon. 


Judge Cooper agreed with jurors that Robertson went to the Capitol on January 6th to obstruct the joint session of Congress to certify the 2020 election, saying that he was an “active and willing participant.” 


Robertson was initially scheduled to be tried with another off-duty Rocky Mount police officer, Jacob Fracker, who traveled to Washington and stormed the Capitol with him. However, Fracker pleaded guilty to a conspiracy charge in March and agreed to cooperate with authorities, so was tried separately and will be sentenced on August 15. 


Robertson and Fracker are among a list of at least two dozen current or former law enforcement officers charged in relation to the Capitol attack on January 6th. 


Robertson took responsibility for his actions in a letter to Judge Cooper, blaming a mix of stress, alcohol abuse, and “submersion in deep ‘rabbit holes’ of election conspiracy theory.” 


In the letter, he wrote, “I sat around at night drinking too much and reacting to articles and sites given to me by Facebook algorithms.” 


Around 850 people thus far have been charged for attacking the Capitol on January 6th, with over 350 having pleaded guilty. Over 230 have been sentenced.

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