Defendant Broadcast Live on Facebook While Holding Alleged Explosive Device
WASHINGTON – Floyd Ray Roseberry, 52, of Grover, North Carolina, pleaded guilty today to one charge of threats to use explosives during a standoff with police that lasted four hours near the Library of Congress, announced U.S. Attorney Matthew M. Graves, FBI Special Agent in Charge Michael H. Glasheen of the FBI Washington Field Office’s Counterterrorism Division, and U.S. Capitol Police Chief J. Thomas Manger.
Roseberry pleaded guilty before the Honorable Rudolph Contreras in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia. He faces a statutory maximum sentence of 10 years in prison. Judge Contreras scheduled sentencing for June 15, 2023.
According to court documents, at approximately 9:45 a.m. on August 19, 2021, U.S. Capitol Police and the FBI responded to a bomb threat made by Roseberry who was sitting inside of a black Chevrolet pick-up truck with no license plates, adjacent to the Jefferson Building of the Library of Congress, at First Street and Independence Avenue, in Southeast Washington, D.C. Roseberry was seen holding a cell phone and was claiming he had a detonator.
While inside the truck, Roseberry broadcast live video and audio through Facebook.
He stated that he was upset about the 2020 election results and demanded that President Biden resign from office. Roseberry demanded to speak to President Biden about several grievances. He claimed to have an ammonium nitrate and/or a Tannerite bomb in the toolbox of this truck. Roseberry stated that the explosive device was engineered such that any loud sound would cause it to detonate and destroy two and a half blocks, which would encompass the Library of Congress as well as other buildings owned or leased by the United States. Roseberry further claimed that he was one of five individuals in Washington, D.C. with bombs. Roseberry could be seen on the Facebook videos holding a small metal keg with a puddy like substance on top and holding what appeared to be a trigger. The metal keg was later analyzed by the FBI and determined to have a small quantity of smokeless black powder at the bottom, but was incapable of detonating with the trigger Roseberry was holding, or by an acoustic mechanism as Roseberry described in the Facebook Live videos.
Roseberry was also throwing U.S. dollar bills out of the truck and onto the street and stating, among other things:
“Hey, call the police and tell them to come out here and clear the Capitol. Tell them to clear the Capitol. Tell them to clear it. … They need to clear that ‘cause I got a bomb in here. I don’t want nobody hurt. Yes sir, I don’t want nobody hurt. I’m not coming here to hurt nobody. I’m not lying, tell them there’s some more.”
“…I’m telling you, my windows pop, this bomb is gonna’ go, it’s made for decimals. …there’s gun powder in there this is some of the strongest shit you can get. I got two and a half pound of Tannerite.”
“If you want to shoot me and take the chance of blowing up two-and-a-half city blocks, ‘cause that toolbox is full, ammonium nitrate is full.”
At approximately 10:21 a.m., Roseberry began communicating with law enforcement by writing messages on a small white dry erase board and placing it in the driver’s side window of the target vehicle while intermittently holding an unidentified device. The messages stated in part, “please don’t shoot the windows the vibe will explode the bomb,” “I have no control of it,” “decimals is what sets off not me,” and at approximately 11:21 a.m., “my name is Ray Roseberry.” In video from the morning of August 19, 2021, Roseberry was observed holding an old metal can that appeared to have been fashioned into an explosive device.
In announcing the plea, U.S. Attorney Graves, Chief Manger, and Special Agent in Charge Glasheen commended the work of those who investigated the case from the FBI’s Washington Field Office and the U.S. Capitol Police. They acknowledged the efforts of those who worked on the case from the U.S. Attorney’s Office, including Paralegal Specialist Latina Sanders, as well as Assistant U.S. Attorney Christopher Tortorice, and National Security Division, Counterterrorism Section Trial Attorney John Cella, who prosecuted the case.
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