Katy Man Guilty of Attempted Robbery and Solicitation to Commit a Crime of Violence
HOUSTON—Robert James Talbot Jr., 38, of Katy and formerly of Batavia, N.Y., has pleaded guilty to both counts as charged—attempted interference with commerce by robbery and solicitation to commit a crime of violence, announced U.S. Attorney Kenneth Magidson and FBI Special Agent in Charge Perrye K. Turner.
Talbot was arrested in March 2014 following an eight-month undercover investigation by the FBI Houston Domestic Terrorism Joint Terrorism Task Force (JTTF). Talbot had espoused his desire to recruit five to six other like-minded individuals to blow up government buildings, rob banks and kill law enforcement officers.
“This case serves as a reminder that no area is immune to violence or the threat of violence,” said Turner. “Resolving potential threats like this one before they occur is always our ultimate goal. The FBI and our law enforcement partners remain vigilant and we ask that you do the same. Always report suspicious activities to your local police or the FBI.”
Talbot attempted to solicit people in his plans to attack the “collars” in Washington, D.C., “taking back” the government by force. Talbot further planned to conduct two to three “training missions” at mosques prior to engaging their primary targets in Washington. He wanted to attack the mosques when they were full of people, killing as many men, women and children as possible. Talbot further advocated robbing banks to obtain funds to purchase additional weapons and ammunition.
Talbot further admitted he had created a Facebook page titled “American Insurgent Movement” (AIM). He described the page as:
“a Pre-Constitutionalist Community that offers those who seek True patriotism and are looking for absolute Freedom by doing the Will of God. Who want to restore America Pre-Constitutionally and look forward to stopping the Regime with action by bloodshed.”
On or about March 27, 2014, Talbot met with individuals whom he believed he had recruited to his group at a storage facility in Houston where he provided instructions for the robbery of an armored car. At that time, he provided detailed maps for the location of the robbery which further provided escape routes in order to quickly evade law enforcement. Talbot also took two explosive devices made of Composition 4 (C4) that were in the storage facility and placed them into his backpack.
Talbot then told the individuals how to block the armored car with their vehicles to prevent it from leaving the location and that he would then place an explosive device on it. Talbot was armed with his Glock 31 and had a fully-loaded 15-round magazine in his backpack. Using profanity, Talbot discussed his plan to kill the driver and steal the money from the car.
Talbot also provided a “manifesto” which was read to the group.
“We must rebel. There is no other option. Blood and bullets are the only two things that will change this world, short of divine action.”
The FBI Houston Division Special Weapons and Tactics Team arrested Talbot shortly thereafter.
At sentencing, Talbot faces up to 20 years’ imprisonment and a possible $250,000 fine for the attempted robbery as well as a maximum of 10 years for solicitation charge and a possible $125,000 fine.
This case was investigated by the FBI’s JTTF, which includes personnel from the FBI; U.S. Coast Guard Investigative Service; U.S. Department of State; Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives; U.S. Secret Service; Houston Police Department; Houston Metro Police Department; and the Harris County Sheriff’s Office.
Assistant U.S. Attorneys Carolyn Ferko and Jim McAlister are prosecuting.