HOUSTON (CN) - The FBI's 8-month investigation into a Texan who told undercover agents he wanted to blow up government buildings and kill police ended with his arrest while he was en route to rob an armored car, prosecutors say.
Robert James Talbot Jr., 38, was charged with attempted interference with commerce by robbery, solicitation to commit a violent crime and possession of C4 explosives.
"Since August 2013, special agents of the FBI have been conducting an investigation into Robert James Talbot Jr. as he espoused his desire to blow up government buildings, rob banks and kill law enforcement officers," according to the federal criminal complaint.
Talbot told an undercover informant in August that he "would be starting a 'black market' job of converting weapons from semi-automatic to fully automatic" and would sell the weapons to other militia members, the complaint states.
"On November 21, 2013, Talbot notified a FBI Online Undercover Employee ... that he (Talbot) created a Facebook page titled 'American Insurgent Movement' (AIM). Talbot described the Facebook page as 'a Pre-Constitutionalist Community that offers those week True patriotism and are looking for absolute Freedom by doing the Will of God. Who want to restore America Pre-Constitutionality and look forward to stopping the Regime with action by bloodshed," according to the complaint filed by FBI agent Bryan Ellis on Thursday.
Talbot, who moved to Katy, Texas from New York, told an undercover agent on Jan. 18 to acquire hand grenades and 25 to 30 pounds of C4 explosive, the complaint states.
A few days later, according to the complaint, Talbot met with two undercover FBI agents at a Katy restaurant and told them he "wanted to begin robbing banks in order to acquire money to finance the purchasing of better weapons and equipment which he (Talbot) would use to kill law enforcement and government officials in Washington, D.C." (Parentheses in complaint.)
Talbot began conducting surveillance on a Bank of America in northwest Houston on March 20, according to the complaint.
"Talbot was observed with binoculars in the area of the bank monitoring the movements of people entering and exiting the bank," the charging document states.
That same day Talbot allegedly told undercover FBI agents he was tailing an armored car and observing the armored car workers' movements.
Talbot texted an undercover FBI agent that he had quit his job on March 24, Agent Ellis says in the complaint.
On March 27 Talbot met with two undercover FBI agents and an informant at a Houston storage facility to go over his plan for robbing an armored car that morning, the complaint states.
"Talbot provided detailed maps of the targeted financial institution as well as escape routes in order to quickly evade law enforcement," according to the complaint.
"Talbot placed two explosive devices made of C4 into his black backpack. Talbot instructed the group how to block the armored car with their vehicle to prevent it from leaving the location. Talbot stated he would place the explosive device on the vehicle.
"Talbot provided a 'manifesto' which he had [an undercover FBI agent] read to the group, 'We must rebel. There is no other option no. Blood and bullets are the only two things that will change this world, short of divine action.'"
The FBI said its agents arrested Talbot while he was on his way to rob the armored car.
If convicted on all charges, Talbot faces up to 30 years in federal prison and $350,000 in fines.