A California man is in custody on charges of making “violent threats”‘ against employees of the Boston Globe, the FBI shared in a press release on Thursday.
Robert D. Chain, a 68-year-old resident of Encino, California, has been charged with one count of making threatening communications in interstate commerce, and is expected to appear in federal court Thursday afternoon. If convicted Chain could face up to five years in prison and a fine of $250,000.
According to court documents cited in the release, Chain was upset with the Globe’s participation in a coordinated effort earlier this month of newspapers around the country to reiterate the importance of the free press in response to President Trump’s persistent media attacks.
Chain subsequently “began making threatening calls to the Boston Globe’s newsroom. In the calls, Chain referred to the Globe as ‘the enemy of the people’ and threatened to kill newspaper employees,” according to the release. Between Aug. 10 and Aug. 22, he made roughly 14 such phone calls.
“Everyone has a right to express their opinion, but threatening to kill people, takes it over the line and will not be tolerated,” Harold H. Shaw, special agent in charge of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Boston Division, said in a statement.
“Today’s arrest of Robert Chain should serve a warning to others, that making threats is not a prank, it’s a federal crime. All threats are taken seriously, as we never know if the subject behind the threat intends to follow through with their actions. Whether potentially hoax or not, each and every threat will be aggressively run to ground.”
Reps for the Boston Globe did not immediately respond to request for comment from TheWrap. The arrest comes just weeks after a gunman walked into the Capital Gazette newspaper in Annapolis, Maryland, and killed five employees. That episode was later connected to a personal grudge the gunman had against the paper.