A Katy man who the FBI says tried to form an "American Insurgent Movement" to rob banks, blow up mosques and overthrow the government with "blood and bullets" has pleaded guilty in federal court.
Court records show Robert Talbot Jr., 38, admitted to plotting his revolution in a hearing before federal district court Judge Ewing Werlein Jr. on Friday. The charges, including attempted interference with commerce by robbery and solicitation to commit a crime of violence, could put him in prison for 20 years.
The FBI opened its investigation into Talbot in August 2013, apparently after finding Talbot's Facebook posts searching for "like-minded" recruits to join his cause. Unbeknownst to him, his three "like-minded" recruits ended up being undercover FBI agents.
What's truly remarkable about the case is the amount of crazy Talbot let spill out into the open, on his Facebook page, for everyone (including federal law enforcement) to see. Here are some of the more stunning posts, culled from court records:
- On October 18, 2013, Talbot wrote on his personal Facebook page ("Roberts Liberty") that he'd gone to some Houston-area Bank of America branches to "play observation" and urged anyone robbing a bank to kill everyone working for the "banking cartels" during the heist.
"This is exactly what I will have my men do during the heist. Same goes with Muslims. Mosques are to be a blast! With three of my guys with FA (full automatic) AK's (AK-47), we will send that white house worthless piece of dirt and his Muslim brotherhood a message they will never forget."
- On November 21, 2013, Talbot created a new "American Insurgent Movement" FB page, writing that he aimed to forge...
"a PreConstitutionalist 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. To remove those by force whom don't agree with the Restoration of the Republic and work with the 'powers that be' by use of the Declaration of Independence."
- On January 30, 2014, Talbot posted:
"Liberty movement starts this summer for those who are up for anything. Email the admin if your interested in walking away from your life (we have weapons if you need a weapon) to stop the Regime. We always will be recruiting ... You will be giving your life for a greater nation restoring liberty and the Lord himself. Stopping the New World Order and banking cartels."
- Another post on February 2, 2014: "We will show them Liberty Unit 1 and Unit 2 ... We will show them what creating Liberty is really like and anyone who stand in our path like a cop. Will be SHOWN EXTREME prejudice."
- ...And later that very same month...
"Looking ONLY for ex-military or self-trained men who trained in guerrilla warfare and understand war/battle to the fullest. I cannot take someone whom doesn't understand what war/battle is or like. Let alone cannot follow an order when shooting someone at point blank range, which will happen. That cannot handle seeing body parts flying everywhere .. That isn't afraid to pull the trigger especially when given that order. I don't need someone freezing up when bullets are whizzing past there head and jeopardize the rest of the team. I can train you, but I have no time to put that much effort into someone mentally to handle blood and killing."
- On March 15, 2014, Talbot wrote
"In a few weeks me and my team are goin active for Operation Liberty .. I will not be able to post no more. We will be the revolution, things will happen nation wide or in the states. They will call us many names and spin things around on media. Just remember we fight to stop Marxism, liberalism, Central banking Cartels and the New World Order. I will try to find someone to take over this community page, but most of the guys who are admins are part of my unit. I will have a website up in 2 months ... The funding is unlimited since the banking cartel will be forced to fund our movements."
After that, things go off the rails. Saying he wanted to rob an armored truck so he could buy the "larger weapons" he needed to launch his movement, Talbot began conducting routine surveillance on a local Bank of America branch in March, watching the cash-carriers come and go, according to court records. Undercover agents claimed he started carrying around a Glock 31 and a fully-loaded 15-round magazine in his backpack when he met with them .
In late March Talbot sent $500 to someone he thought was a black market arms dealer (in reality, the FBI) to buy C-4 explosives. He provided his recruits (in reality, undercover agents) maps of the armored truck route. Talbot planned to blast the truck doors with explosives before jumping inside and executing the guard, according to records. The feds claim he told undercover agents: "You're going to pull the door open and i'm going to go in and i'm going to make sure the guy is either dead or fuckin' on the floor with ... and I'm fuckin' going to shoot the son of a bitch ... after that I'm goin' start tossing bags out!"
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He told his recruits to start watching violent war movies to mentally prepare for killing people.
On March 26, Talbot took undercover agents on a three-hour tour to trace the armored truck's path and plan the heist, according to court records.
The next day, undercover agents met him at a Houston storage unit. After again going over his plan to rob the truck and execute the driver, Talbot read them his manifesto: "We must rebel. There is no other option no. Blood and bullets are the only two things that will change this world, short of divine action."
FBI agents swept in and arrested Talbot while he was en route to the heist that he had desperately hoped would fund his revolution.