FORMER ATTORNEY GUILTY OF BRINGING BULLETS INTO FEDERAL COURTHOUSE
CARLOS ROMIOUS, age 47, a resident of Laplace, Louisiana, was convicted at trial in federal court yesterday before U. S. Magistrate Judge Daniel E. Knowles, announced U. S. Attorney Jim Letten. ROMIOUS was charged with disrupting the performance of official duties by government employees. ROMIOUS was sentenced to 15 days with credit for time served and released.
According to testimony, ROMIOUS had previously appeared at the Hale Boggs Federal Courthouse on December 19, 2011, and demanded to speak with a United States Magistrate Judge. After initially refusing to leave, he eventually left the building. As a result, the United States Marshals Service looked into his background. It was determined that ROMIOUS was a potential threat to courthouse occupants and an alert notice was issued to law enforcement agencies. Specifically, it was noted that ROMIOUS had been arrested numerous times in Kenner, Louisiana and is currently awaiting charges of beating two (2) jailers with the Kenner Police Department. ROMIOUS had also been previously convicted of fighting with Deputy United States Marshals in Kansas, and as a result, was later disbarred by the state of Kansas.
On January 20, 2012, the Occupy the Courts protests were set to take place around the country. Additionally, an investiture ceremony for a new federal judge was also set to take place on the same day at the Hale Boggs Federal Building. As a result, members of the United States Marshals Service, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Louisiana State Police, New Orleans Police Department and the Federal Protective Service, previously met to coordinate security in an attempt to make certain that both events proceeded without incident.
On the morning of January 20, 2012, at approximately 9:15am, ROMIOUS attempted to enter the United States Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals, but was denied entrance due to the investiture ceremony being by invitation only. ROMIOUS then attempted to enter the Hale Boggs Federal Courthouse, but was stopped when a Court Security Officer noticed three (3) 9mm bullets in a bag he was carrying. ROMIOUS was questioned and stated that the bullets “were for Jim Letten.” This conflicted with his earlier story that he needed to file paperwork. He also gave conflicting stories about how he arrived at the courthouse that day. As a result, at least ten (10) officers from the respective agencies were assigned to review videotape, search bushes and nearby vehicles for weapons, and an ATF explosives detection canine was brought in to see if there were any ammunition, guns, or explosives located within the complex. This took place as agents were preparing for possible protestors as well as the investiture ceremony. No weapons were ultimately found and ROMIOUS was later arrested.
The case was investigated by the United States Marshals Service, and agents of the Federal Protective Service. The prosecution was handled by Assistant United States Attorney Jon Maestri.
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