A North Carolina man suffering from bipolar disorder was sentenced Friday to five years of probation for falsely claiming to have a truck bomb in his parked pickup at the U.S. Capitol and threatening to “blow up two and a half city blocks” in August 2021.

Floyd R. Roseberry, 52, was prescribed the wrong drug and undergoing a psychotic episode when he vaguely threatened political violence against Democrats on Facebook Live from the driver’s seat of his black Chevrolet pickup on Aug. 19, 2021, according to court filings. He pleaded guilty in January to threatening to use explosive materials.

On the day of his offense, Roseberry parked at 9:45 a.m. on First Street and Independence Avenue SE, in front of the Library of Congress and just east of the Capitol. He claimed his truck contained an ammonium nitrate bomb with a triggering explosive that would detonate if fired on.

Neither was true – police found only a small amount of smokeless black powder in the truck – but his live-streamed claims triggered an hours-long standoff with police and the evacuation of three congressional office buildings, the Supreme Court, and the Library of Congress. The area was still on edge after the Capitol was attacked that January by a mob of Donald Trump supporters.

On Friday, U.S. District Judge Rudolph Contreras of Washington said that Roseberry “never could detonate any explosive.” The judge said an independent expert concluded and prosecutors did not dispute that Roseberry’s “diminished mental capacity” caused by wrongly prescribed medication led to his offense.

But Contreras warned Roseberry, “I’m very confident that was the worst day of your life and nothing like this will ever happen again. But if anything like it ever does happen again, you will be standing right back at a hearing before me, and I’m not going to be as accommodating.”


Roseberry told Contreras that it would not, and thanked the judge for “taking on this case.”

In a statement to the court, Roseberry said he has been disabled since his early 20s after suffering a history of physical abuse as a child, and that he was suicidal and grieving the death of his parents, an aunt, uncle, and friend when a sheriff’s deputy came to his home in North Carolina in 2020. He was unable to get inpatient treatment, however, and when he complained to his primary care doctor that his symptoms were getting worse, the physician boosted his dosage of Adderall, instead of realizing the drug can exacerbate bipolar disorder.

Contreras said he believed that Roseberry, under treatment and medication, no longer posed a danger to the public. He added that Roseberry has already served one year in D.C. jail – where he rescued a jail guard whose jaw was broken by an inmate who attacked him from behind – and one year under home detention and location monitoring, which the judge extended for another year.

Contreras said Roseberry’s time served behind bars and under home confinement made his sentence comparable to the 16 months in jail spent by a man who in 2003 paralyzed Washington for 47 hours by falsely claiming to have a bomb in his tractor which he drove into a pond on the National Mall. The judge said the sentence was also similar to the year-long sentences handed down to two men who separately dialed in repeated threats to the city’s subway system in 2009 and falsely claimed to drop explosives near the White House in 2017.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Christopher Tortorice asked for a sentence of 30 months. He said the prosecution considered Roseberry’s health in a plea deal in which it agreed not to charge him with a more serious offense involving the use of a weapon of mass destruction, which carries a possible life sentence, compared to the maximum 10 years of Roseberry’s charge.

“While the desired goal was unlikely to come to pass, the sentiment behind his actions to use threats of violence to sway the functions of government must be met with significant punishment,” Tortorice argued in a sentencing memo.


Roseberry, of Grover, N.C., made a string of incoherent rants during the standoff that included demands that President Biden and then-House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., “step down,” and suggesting four other “Southern boys” in Washington were prepared to detonate bombs if anything happened to him, prosecutors said.

He warned police not to shoot him, saying he had a denotation trigger. “Before you start crackin’ any pop on me, you better get your military experts out here and ask them what a seven-pound keg of gunpowder will do with two-point-five pounds of Tannerite” mixed in.

Tannerite is the brand name for a mixture of ammonium nitrate, aluminum powder, and other substances used to make exploding rifle targets.

Assistant Federal Defender Mary Petras asked for time served, saying that Roseberry was no political zealot and that his conduct was not related to the Jan. 6, 2021, Capitol attack or the 2020 election. Rather, Petras said, “this is what his brain fixated on when it went into a psychotic state” because it was in the news, and investigators found no evidence of any political motivation.

Contreras agreed. The judge said that Roseberry’s offense was caused by his diminished mental capacity, not politics, adding, “No [future] defendant can realistically look at this case and conclude that political violence is tolerated.”

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