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Encino man pleads guilty to making violent threats against newspaper

An Encino man pleaded guilty Wednesday to federal charges for making violent threats against Boston Globe employees last summer in retaliation for the newspaper’s editorial response to political attacks on the media.

Robert D. Chain, 68, pleaded guilty in Boston to seven counts of making threatening communications in interstate commerce. U.S. District Judge William G. Young scheduled sentencing for Sept. 23, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Massachusetts.

On Aug. 10, the Boston Globe announced that it was requesting that other newspaper publications around the country publish a coordinated editorial response to political attacks on the media. The editorial response was to be published nationally six days later.

Immediately following the announcement, Chain began making threatening calls to the Boston Globe’s newsroom, in which he referred to the Globe as “the enemy of the people” and threatened to kill newspaper employees. In total, Chain made 14 phone calls to the Globe between Aug. 10 and 22.

On Aug. 16, the day the coordinated editorial response was published in the Boston Globe, Chain called the 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.

Authorities arrested Chain on Aug. 30 on suspicion of delivering the threatening phone calls. During a raid at Chain’s Encino home, federal authorities seized a stash of at least 20 guns and hundreds of rounds of ammunition.

Chain faces up to 35 years in federal prison and a fine of $250,000 at sentencing, prosecutors said.

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