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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Western District of Texas

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Lockhart Man Charged with Being a Convicted Felon in Possession of a Firearm

Federal criminal complaint alleges that Ussery intentionally initiated confrontations with victims claiming Sutherland Springs First Baptist Church shooting incident was a hoax

Federal and state authorities arrested 54-year-old Robert Mikell Ussery in Lockhart, TX, today on a federal charge of convicted felon in possession of a firearm, announced United States Attorney John F. Bash and Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) Special Agent in Charge Fred Milanowski, Houston Division.

A federal complaint unsealed today alleges that on March 5, 2018, Ussery was knowingly in possession of a silver and black semi-automatic pistol after being convicted of a felony offense. 

According to the complaint, on March 5, 2018, Ussery (aka “Side Thorn”), accompanied by his girlfriend (aka “Conspiracy Granny”), entered the property of the First Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs, TX, and verbally harassed church members. The church was the scene of a mass shooting on November 5, 2017, where 26 people were killed.  The defendant and his girlfriend claimed the incident was all a hoax, that no one died as a result of the shooting incident, and that “the people” will hang a member of the church for perpetrating the hoax. 

Ussery and his girlfriend captured the confrontation on their personal video recording devices that they were holding or wearing.  Those devices were seized by authorities.

Ussery’s criminal history includes a 1984 conviction for burglary of a vehicle in Brazoria County for which he received a four-year prison term in the Texas Department of Corrections.

This criminal complaint was the result of a joint investigation by ATF, Texas Department of Public Safety, Wilson County Sheriff’s Office, Caldwell County Sheriff’s Office and Homeland Security Investigations (HSI).

Ussery remains in federal custody following his arrest.  He is scheduled to have his initial appearance in San Antonio at 1:30pm on Thursday before United States Magistrate Judge Henry Bemporad.  Upon conviction, Ussery faces up to ten years in federal prison.  Assistant United States Attorney Sarah Wannarka is prosecuting this case on behalf of the Government.

It is important to note that a criminal complaint is merely a charge and should not be considered as evidence of guilt.  The defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.

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Updated May 23, 2018