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Supporters of former President Trump at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6. Photo: Alex Edelman/AFP via Getty Images

A former Virginia police officer arrested for allegedly participating in the U.S. Capitol riot must remain in custody until his trial over evidence that he has illegally stockpiled weapons, a federal judge ruled Wednesday.

Driving the news: U.S. District Court Judge Christopher Cooper, in D.C., said in an order that Thomas Robertson was "further radicalized" after he was charged with breaching the Capitol building — noting that agents found a rifle, pipe-bomb making equipment at his home and evidence that he had purchased 37 guns online since his arrest.

  • The 47-year-old, who was fired from the Rocky Mount Police after he was charged, was initially released in January.
  • He was rearrested this month for violated a judge's order not to possess firearms while on pretrial release and also for breaking a federal law that prevents people under felony indictment from shipping firearms.

What they're saying: "The undisputed facts demonstrate a concrete risk that Robertson might participate in or provide material support to acts of ideologically motivated violence if released at this time," Judge Cooper wrote.

  • Cooper noted there was "probable cause to believe that Robertson committed a felony" despite being under felony indictment.
  • "Robertson's procurement of these dangerous weapons under the surrounding circumstances heightens the risk to public safety," Cooper added.

The big picture: Robertson is in solitary confinement for his own safety due to the fact he's a former police officer.

  • He has pleaded not guilty to four charges, including felony obstruction of congressional proceedings.
  • Robertson must remain in jail until the case is resolved, which could take months.

Read the judge's order, obtained by WVIR-TV, via DocumentCloud:

Go deeper

Updated Sep 18, 2021 - Politics & Policy

Smaller than expected "Justice for J6" rally met with large police presence

Police officers watch as demonstrators gather for the "Justice for J6" rally in Washington, D.C., on Sept. 18, 2021. Photo: Andrew Caballero-Reynolds/AFP via Getty Images

A few hundred demonstrators were met by a heavy law enforcement presence on Saturday at the "Justice for J6" rally outside the fenced-off U.S. Capitol, AP reports.

The latest: Four people were arrested at the rally, including one person with a gun, one with a knife and two with outstanding warrants, per the U.S. Capitol Police.

Brazil's health minister tests positive for COVID during UN summit in N.Y.

President of Brazil Jair Bolsonaro (L) and Health Minister Marcelo Queiroga in Brasilia, Brazil, in May. Photo: Andressa Anholete/Getty Images

Brazil's Health Minister Marcelo Queirog has tested positive for COVID-19 while in New York City for the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA), he confirmed Tuesday night.

Why it matters: Hours earlier, Queirog had accompanied Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro to the UNGA. The Biden administration expressed concern last week that the gathering of world leaders could become a coronavirus "superspreader event."

Updated 2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Trump sues New York Times and his niece over tax report

Former President Trump hosting a boxing match in Hollywood, Florida on Sept. 11. Photo: Chandan Khanna/AFP via Getty Images

Former President Trump filed a $100 million lawsuit against the New York Times and his niece Mary Trump on Tuesday over the news outlet's 2018 reporting on his tax records, the Daily Beast first reported.

Details: The suit, filed in New York's Dutchess County, alleges NYT journalists "engaged in an insidious plot to obtain confidential and highly-sensitive records" and that they "convinced" Mary Trump to "smuggle records out of her attorney's office and turn them over to The Times."