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Press Release

Standoff with armed felon leads to firearm conviction

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Southern District of Texas

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas – A 35-year-old Corpus Christi resident has admitted to being a felon in possession of a firearm, announced U.S. Attorney Alamdar S. Hamdani.

Robert Spencer was set to begin trial this week, but has instead opted to enter a guilty plea.  

On Aug. 4, 2022, authorities responded to a murder reported to have occurred around the 1800 block of Van Loan Ave. in Corpus Christi. They observed Spencer in the area and appeared to be armed. When authorities approached him, Spencer fled into his nearby home which initiated an hour-long standoff.

During that time, Spencer yelled at law enforcement to leave the area. Authorities also heard two gunshots. He exited his home without a firearm, at which time, they arrested him.

Law enforcement obtained a search warrant for Spencer’s residence and discovered six pipe bombs, four firearms and boxes of ammunition in the attic. He admitted to personally assembling the pipe bombs.

As a convicted felon, he is prohibited from possessing firearms or ammunition per federal law.

Further testing confirmed the pipe bombs to be destructive devices as the law defines. The pipe bombs were not properly registered to Spencer in the National Firearms Registration and Transfer Record.

U.S. District Judge Nelva Gonzales Ramos will impose sentencing June 4. At that time, Spencer faces up to 15 years in federal prison and a possible $250,000 maximum fine.

He will remain in custody pending that hearing.

The Corpus Christi Police Department and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives conducted the investigation. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Patrick Overman and John Marck are prosecuting the case.

Updated March 4, 2024

Violent Crime