California Man Facing Federal Charges in Maryland for Attempted Murder of a United States Judge
Greenbelt, Maryland – A criminal complaint was filed today charging Nicholas John Roske, age 26, of Simi Valley, California, for federal charges of attempted murder of a Supreme Court Justice. Roske is expected to have an initial appearance in U.S. District Court in Greenbelt today at 3:00 p.m. before U.S. Magistrate Judge Timothy J. Sullivan.
The criminal complaint was announced by United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Erek L. Barron; Special Agent in Charge Thomas J. Sobocinski of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Baltimore Field Office; Chief Marcus Jones of the Montgomery County Police Department; and U.S Marshal Johnny Hughes.
According to the affidavit filed in support of the criminal complaint, on June 8, 2022, at approximately 1:05 a.m., two United States Deputy Marshals saw an individual dressed in black clothing and carrying a backpack and a suitcase, get out of a taxicab that had stopped in front of the residence of a current Justice of the United States Supreme Court. The individual looked at the two Deputy U.S. Marshals, who were standing next to their parked vehicle, and then turned to walk down the street.
Shortly thereafter, Montgomery County Emergency Communications Center received a call from Nicholas John Roske, who allegedly informed the call taker that he was having suicidal thoughts and had a firearm in his suitcase. Roske also allegedly stated that he traveled from California to Maryland to kill a specific Supreme Court Justice. Montgomery County Police Department officers were dispatched to the location near the residence where they encountered Roske, who was still on the telephone with the Montgomery County Emergency Communications Center. Roske was taken into custody and law enforcement officers seized the backpack and the suitcase that were still in his possession.
As detailed in the affidavit, a search of the seized suitcase and backpack revealed a black tactical chest rig and tactical knife, a pistol with two magazines and ammunition, pepper spray, zip ties, a hammer, screwdriver, nail punch, crow bar, pistol light, duct tape, hiking boots with padding on the outside of the soles, and other items.
Roske was transported to the Montgomery County Police Department where, after being advised of his constitutional rights, Roske allegedly told detectives that he was upset about the leak of a recent Supreme Court draft decision regarding the right to abortion as well as the recent school shooting in Uvalde, Texas.
If convicted, Roske faces a maximum sentence of 20 years in federal prison for attempted murder of a United States Judge. Actual sentences for federal crimes are typically less than the maximum penalties. A federal district court judge will determine any sentence after taking into account the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.
A criminal complaint is not a finding of guilt. An individual charged by criminal complaint is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty at some later criminal proceedings.
United States Attorney Erek L. Barron commended the FBI, the Montgomery County Police Department, and the U.S. Marshals Service for their work in the investigation. Mr. Barron thanked Assistant U.S. Attorney Kathleen O. Gavin, who is prosecuting the federal case.
For more information on the Maryland U.S. Attorney’s Office, and its efforts to protect national security, please visit www.justice.gov/usao-md and https://www.justice.gov/usao-md/anti-terrorism.
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