JULY 6–Along with a notebook containing step-by-step instructions on how to create a “hometown militia,” FBI agents seized a “fully constructed U.S. Capitol Lego set” from the Pennsylvania man indicted last month for his alleged leadership role in the January 6 insurrection, according to court records.
Prosecutors charge that Robert Morss, 27, directed fellow rioters during “one of the most intense and prolonged clashes” with law enforcement officers who were seeking to prevent a violent mob from entering the Capitol through doors on the Lower West Terrace.
Morss, wearing tactical gear and a “Make America Great Again” hat, allegedly ripped a riot shield from the hands of a Metropolitan Police Department officer and later organized a “shield wall” that was used to “crush officers in the rioters’ path.”
As seen in a harrowing video, as rioters chanted “Heave, ho!” in unison, MPD Officer Daniel Hodges was crushed against a door jam as Donald Trump supporters like Morss sought to storm the Capitol. As Hodges screamed in pain, a rioter tore off the cop’s gas mask and took his baton (which was then used to strike the immobilized officer).
Morss, who graduated from Penn State after serving as an Army Ranger, was indicted last month on nine criminal counts related to his activities on January 6. Morss, who recently worked as a substitute teacher, “came prepared for violence and then repeatedly led the violent mob attacking” law enforcement officers, according to federal prosecutors.
After attempting to breach the Capitol through the Lower West Terrace entrance, Morss subsequently climbed into the building through a broken window.
Morss has been locked up since his arrest and prosecutors are seeking his continued pretrial detainment, arguing that he is a threat to the community and a flight risk.
In a July 2 motion, government lawyers reported that agents found a notebook in Morss’s car that contained “writings that included ‘Step by Step To Create Hometown Militia.’” The militia to-do list included steps like “Ambush” and “Battle Drills” and reminders to “Bring Assault Rifle” and “4 Magazines.”
Investigators also seized clothing and other items matching those that Morss carried on January 6, including a “Don’t Tread on Me” flag, military fatigues, a black tourniquet, and a military utility bag. Morss also had “three different firearms including a handgun, a shotgun, and a rifle,” according to the detention motion.
FBI agents who raided Morss’s suburban Pittsburgh residence also “recovered a fully constructed U.S. Capitol Lego set.” The court filing does not indicate whether federal investigators believe that Morss used the 1032-piece Lego set in preparation for his alleged rampaging on January 6