BOSTON – A California man pleaded guilty today in federal court in Boston in connection with making violent threats against Boston Globe employees in retaliation for the newspaper’s editorial response to political attacks on the media.
Robert D. Chain, 68, of Encino, Calif., pleaded guilty to seven counts of making threatening communications in interstate commerce. U.S. District Court Judge William G. Young scheduled sentencing for Sept. 23, 2019.
On Aug. 10, 2018, the Boston Globe announced that it was requesting other newspaper publications around the country to publish a coordinated editorial response to political attacks on the media. The coordinated editorial response was to be published on Thursday, Aug. 16, 2018.
Immediately following the announcement, Chain 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. In total, Chain made approximately 14 phone calls to the Globe between Aug. 10 and 22, 2018.
On Aug. 16, 2018, the day the coordinated editorial response was published in the Boston Globe, Chain called the Globe newsroom and threatened to shoot Globe employees in the head “later today, at 4 o’clock.” As a result of that call, local law enforcement responded to the Globe’s offices and maintained a presence outside the building to ensure the safety of the employees.
The charge of making threatening communications in interstate commerce provides for a sentence of no greater than five years, one year of supervised release, and a fine of $250,000.