California Man Who Threatened To Kill Reporters Has A Home In Jackson
A California man charged this week with threatening to kill reporters at the Boston Globe newspaper for "treasonous" criticism of President Donald Trump in the past two weeks owns a condominium in Jackson, according to Teton County records.
Robert Darrell Chain, 68, of Encino, Calif., on Thursday was arrested and charged with one count of making threatening communications in interstate commerce, according to Massachusetts U.S. Attorney Andrew Lelling.
Chain allegedly made the threats immediately after the Boston Globe announced on Aug. 10 that it was asking other newspapers nationwide to publish a coordinated response on Aug. 16 -- a response that garnered hundreds of editorials -- to political attacks on the media, according to an FBI agent's affidavit.
After Chain's initial appearance in federal court in Los Angeles on Thursday, CBS Evening News reported the court restricted his travel to California and Wyoming, where he owns a home. The network did not identify the home's location.
Public database records indicate a Robert Chain lives in Jackson, and a Robert Chain born in 1950 was cited for speeding in Lincoln County in 2007.
Teton County Assessor's records show that the Chain Family Trust owns a two-story condominium at 310 E. Sagebrush Drive in Jackson. The records show that the owner's address is 17512 Califa St., in Encino, the same address where federal agents arrested Chain.
A phone call to the Jackson residence did not go through.
After its call to protest threats against the media, The Boston Globe's newsroom began receiving calls from an unidentified male called later identified through subscriber telephone records as Chain, according to the FBI affidavit.
Several times, Chain called Globe employees the "enemy of the people," a characterization of journalists that President Trump has used repeatedly, including in a tweet on Thursday before the charges were announced.
Some of those calls were recorded, and the FBI agent believed they were from the same person.
We apologize for the following language.
In one recorded call on Aug. 13, Chain said, "'Hey, how's your p----y smell today, nice and fresh? We are going to shoot you motherf-----s in the head, you Boston Globe c---------s. Shoot every f-----g one of you,'" according to the affidavit.
On Aug. 16, Chain called and said, "'You're the enemy of the people, and we're going to kill every f-----g on of you. Hey why don't you call the F, why don't you call Mueller, maybe he can help you out buddy. Still there f-gg-t? Alright, why, you going to trace my call? What are you going to do motherf----r? You ain't going to do s--t. I'm going to shoot you in the f-----g head later today, at 4 o'clock. Goodbye,'" according to the affidavit.
On Aug. 22, Chain called again and a newspaper employee asked why he was calling.
Chain responded, using his wife's cell phone, "'Because you are the enemy of the people, and I want you to go f--k yourself. As long as you keep attacking the President, the duly elected President of the United States, in the continuation of your treasonous and seditious acts, I will continue to threats, harass, and annoy the Boston Globe, owned by the New York Times, the other fake news.'"
The Boston Globe reported the 14 total calls to law enforcement and hired a private security firm to protect its employees, according to the FBI agent's affidavit
A firearms records check showed Chain owned multiple firearms, including a new 9mm carbine in May.
Thursday, 30 heavily armed federal agents arrested him at his Encino home and led him away clad in his boxer shorts.
Later Thursday, Chain made his initial appearance, was released on a $50,000 bond, ordered to surrender his passport and more than 20 guns he had at his home, and appear for a federal court hearing in Boston on Sept. 24.
If convicted, he faces a prison sentence of up to five years, one year of supervised release, and a fine of $250,000.
Newsrooms have received threats for years and rarely do they result in charges. However, sensitivity has been heightened since a gunman with a long-running grudge against the Capital Gazette newspaper in Annapolis, Md., killed five employees there in June.
"In a time of increasing political polarization, and amid the increasing incidence of mass shootings, members of the public must police their own political rhetoric. Or we will," Lelling said.
Harold Shaw, special agent in charge of the Boston Division of the FBI said everyone has a right to express their opinion but not a right to threaten to kill people.
"Today’s arrest of Robert Chain should serve a warning to others, that making threats is not a prank, it’s a federal crime," Shaw said, "All threats are taken seriously, as we never know if the subject behind the threat intends to follow through with their actions."