Breaking News
More () »

Former VA police officer pleads guilty in Capitol riot case, will testify against second officer

Jacob Fracker pleaded guilty Friday to one county of conspiracy. He'll be called as a witness next month in the trial of his co-defendant Thomas Robertson.

WASHINGTON — A former Rocky Mount, Virginia, police officer pleaded guilty Friday to conspiring with another officer to disrupt the joint session of Congress on Jan. 6.

Jacob Fracker appeared virtually before U.S. District Judge Royce C. Lamberth to enter his plea. He faces up to five years in prison but sentencing will be delayed until he testifies against his co-defendant, Thomas Robertson, who’s set to begin trial next month.

Fracker and Robertson were initially arrested last January on misdemeanor charges of entering a restricted building and disorderly conduct on Capitol grounds. A federal grand jury then indicted them on five counts, including one felony count of obstruction of an official proceeding. Robertson was additionally indicted on two other felony counts of civil disorder and aiding and abetting.

In charging documents, prosecutors said Robertson began speaking about an “open armed rebellion” and an “insurgency” following former President Donald Trump’s loss in the 2020 election. On Facebook, they say, Robertson wrote, “I’m prepared to start one here and know a bunch of like minded and trained individuals.”

In another post, Robertson wrote, “A legitimate republic stands on 4 boxes. The soapbox, the ballot box, the jury box and then the cartridge box. We just moved to step 3. Step 4 will not be pretty. I cannot speak for others, but being disenfranchised by fraud is my hard line. I’ve spent most of my adult life fighting a counter insurgency. I’m about to become part of one, and a very effective one.”

As part of his plea, Fracker agreed to testify that he and Robertson conspired to bring tactical gear, including gas masks, to the U.S. Capitol Building on Jan. 6. to stop or delay the certification of Elecotral College votes. He’ll also testify that Robertson brought a large wooden stick, which he used to impede Capitol Police.

Fracker and Robertson were initially granted pretrial release, but Robertson was sent back to jail in July after prosecutors submitted evidence he’d purchased 37 firearms while under federal indictment. Federal law prohibits anyone under federal indictment for a crime with a sentence of more than 1 year from shipping or transporting firearms or ammunition. Prosecutors said Robertson had attempted to conceal come of the purchases by labeling the Venmo transaction as being for “wedding photos.”

Jury selection was scheduled to begin April 4 for Robertson. If convicted of obstruction of an official proceeding he could face a recommended sentence of five years or more in prison.

We're tracking all of the arrests, charges and investigations into the January 6 assault on the Capitol. Sign up for our Capitol Breach Newsletter here so that you never miss an update.

Before You Leave, Check This Out