Ex-Army Ranger who joined Capitol riot is ordered to remain in jail ahead of his trial

A former Army Ranger turned substitute teacher who joined the Capitol rioters on January 6 has been ordered to remain in jail until his trial after a federal judge deemed him too dangerous to be released. 

Robert Morss, of Pittsburgh, was slammed by the judge for using his military training to help organize the rioters that eventually breached the U.S. Capitol. 

Federal Magistrate G. Michael Harvey said Morss helped to organize a ‘shield wall’ assembled from equipment taken from police that rioters used to move against Capitol guards.

The decision occurred hours after new videos of Morss were released by the Justice Department, which allegedly depict him coordinating with other rioters and instigating clashes with police.

Robert Morss, (pictured) a former Army Ranger who joined Capitol rioters, was ordered to remain in jail before trial, after a federal judge deemed him too dangerous to be released

Robert Morss, (pictured) a former Army Ranger who joined Capitol rioters, was ordered to remain in jail before trial, after a federal judge deemed him too dangerous to be released

Morss, of Pittsburgh, was slammed for using his military training to help organize rioters that eventually breached the U.S. Capitol on January 6

Morss, of Pittsburgh, was slammed for using his military training to help organize rioters that eventually breached the U.S. Capitol on January 6

The decision occurred hours after new videos of Morss were released by the Justice Department, allegedly depicting him coordinating with additional rioters and instigating clashes with police

The decision occurred hours after new videos of Morss were released by the Justice Department, allegedly depicting him coordinating with additional rioters and instigating clashes with police

Morss was identified in the videos with superimposed boxes and arrows

Morss was identified in the videos with superimposed boxes and arrows

Police footage depicts Morss speaking to other rioters shortly before grabbing a fence and pulling it away from the police line

Police footage depicts Morss speaking to other rioters shortly before grabbing a fence and pulling it away from the police line

Morss was identified in the videos with superimposed boxes and arrows, and depicts him speaking to other rioters shortly before grabbing a fence and pulling it away from the police line.   

In another video, Morss is seen handing stolen police shields to other rioters, while another reveals him entering the Capitol through a broken window. 

Judge Harvey said Morss is ‘willing to use his training or experience to organize with the rioters on January 6 … thereby making their actions more effective, more forceful and more violent.’ 

Harvey added that rioters ‘appeared disorganized’ until Morss, who was ‘in his element’ as a former Army Ranger, began issuing instructions.  

In another video, Morss is seen handing stolen police shields to other rioters, while another reveals him entering the Capitol through a broken window

In another video, Morss is seen handing stolen police shields to other rioters, while another reveals him entering the Capitol through a broken window

In newly released footage, Morss was identified coordinating with additional rioters and instigating clashes with police during the January 6 insurrection on U.S. Capitol

In newly released footage, Morss was identified coordinating with additional rioters and instigating clashes with police during the January 6 insurrection on U.S. Capitol 

In newly released footage, Morss was identified coordinating with additional rioters and instigating clashes with police during the January 6 insurrection on U.S. Capitol

In newly released footage, Morss was identified coordinating with additional rioters and instigating clashes with police during the January 6 insurrection on U.S. Capitol

Morss was taken into federal custody on June 11 on assault, robbery, and other charges for his alleged participation in the January 6 riot at the US Capitol.

Morss was taken into federal custody on June 11 on assault, robbery, and other charges for his alleged participation in the January 6 riot at the US Capitol.

In addition, federal investigators also included photos of Morss dressed in fatigues trying to take a baton from an officer, trying to take shields, trying to force a flagpole from a guard and trying to wrestle fencing from the grip of an officer.

In addition, federal investigators also included photos of Morss dressed in fatigues trying to take a baton from an officer, trying to take shields, trying to force a flagpole from a guard and trying to wrestle fencing from the grip of an officer.

Pentagon records indicate Morss was deployed to Afghanistan three times, and was a specialist when he retired from military service

Pentagon records indicate Morss was deployed to Afghanistan three times, and was a specialist when he retired from military service

Morss was taken into federal custody on June 11 on assault, robbery, and other charges for his alleged participation in the January 6 riot at the US Capitol. 

He has pleased not guilty to all charges.

Morss was in the Army from 2011 to 2015. Pentagon records indicate he was deployed to Afghanistan three times, and was a specialist when he retired from military service. 

After Morss was arrested, investigators ‘recovered a fully constructed U.S. Capitol Lego set,’ from his home.

He was alleged to have been in possession of a handgun, a shotgun, and a rifle.  

After Morss was arrested, investigators ‘recovered a fully constructed U.S. Capitol Lego set,' (similar to one pictured) from his home and was alleged to have been in possession of a handgun, a shotgun, and a rifle.

After Morss was arrested, investigators ‘recovered a fully constructed U.S. Capitol Lego set,’ (similar to one pictured) from his home and was alleged to have been in possession of a handgun, a shotgun, and a rifle.

A search of his car revealed a notebook in which he allegedly wrote ‘Step by Step To Create Hometown Militia.’ The notebook included a list of equipment items and steps such as ‘Battle Drills,’ ‘Ambush,’ and ‘Formations.’ The notebook also contains references to ‘Bring Kit/Body Armor’; ‘Bring Assault Rifle’: and ‘4 Magazines.’

A search of his car revealed a notebook in which he allegedly wrote ‘Step by Step To Create Hometown Militia.’ The notebook included a list of equipment items and steps such as ‘Battle Drills,’ ‘Ambush,’ and ‘Formations.’ The notebook also contains references to ‘Bring Kit/Body Armor’; ‘Bring Assault Rifle’: and ‘4 Magazines.’

A search of his car revealed a notebook in which he allegedly wrote ‘Step by Step To Create Hometown Militia.’

The notebook included a list of equipment items and steps such as ‘Battle Drills,’ ‘Ambush,’ and ‘Formations.’

The notebook also contains references to ‘Bring Kit/Body Armor’; ‘Bring Assault Rifle’: and ‘4 Magazines.’

According to court documents, Morss was identified by witnesses who told investigators he was a Penn State University graduate and a veteran who may have mental health issues from his military service.

Federal investigators say throughout the siege on the Capitol, Morss rallied, directed and made multiple attempts to organize members of the crowd to push past Capitol guards.  

In addition, federal investigators also included photos of Morss dressed in fatigues trying to take a baton from an officer, trying to take shields, trying to force a flagpole from a guard and trying to wrestle fencing from the grip of an officer.  

Federal investigators said Morss was also seen wearing clear goggles during the riot.

They say he can be seen directing others to disable cameras, and organized rioters to form a wall with the stolen officer shields that would eventually be used to crush a guard against the doors.

Federal prosecutors allege that on several occasions Morss was seen trying to breach police lines.

According to a CNN review of court documents and Pentagon records, at least 45 of the approximately 450 overall defendants charged in the Capitol insurrection have ties to the U.S. military. That’s about one in 10 people charged.     

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