Authorities in California said they found a collection of guns and ammunition in the home of a man who was charged Thursday with threatening to kill journalists at the Boston Globe for its recent editorial response to President Trump's verbal attacks on news media.
Robert Chain, 68, of the Encino neighborhood of Los Angeles, was arrested at his home. He allegedly made 14 threatening phone calls to the Globe, Aug. 10-22, prosecutors said.
Authorities seized more than 20 guns and hundreds of rounds of ammunition from Chain’s home, U.S. Attorney Matt Rosenbaum said. While some of the guns, like a shotgun near the front door, were in plain sight, others were hidden.
The findings prompted prosecutors to ask a judge to keep Chain detained. However, Magistrate Judge Paul Abrams said he didn’t think it was “appropriate to keep him in custody for a night.”
Prosecutors found no evidence that Chain, who has no criminal record, had planned to go to Boston. Authorities also didn’t indicate whether any of Chain’s guns were believed to be illegally owned.
Abrams allowed Chain to go free after he and his wife, a lawyer, signed documents guaranteeing he follow terms, such as surrendering his passport and any other guns. Chain would have to pay $50,000 if any of the terms are violated.
On Aug. 16, more than 300 publications across the country published columns to promote freedom of the press and push back at Trump’s attack on the media. The Boston Globe’s piece, titled “Journalists are not the enemy,” wrote that replacing “a free media with a state-run media” was the “first order of business for any corrupt regime taking over a country.”
Chain allegedly called a Globe staffer that day, when the paper published its piece against Trump’s press attacks, from a blocked phone number and said he was going to shoot employees in the head “later today, at 4 o’clock,” according to court documents obtained by FOX11 Los Angeles.
He also called Globe journalists “the enemy of the people” and said he would continue threatening the paper until it stopped its "treasonous and seditious" attacks on Trump, according to the documents.
Police responded to the threats and increased security at the paper’s offices.
Chain, who is retired from the international sales and trade business, was scheduled to appear in a federal court in Boston on Sept. 24. He faces a single charge of making a threatening communication in interstate commerce.
He could serve up to five years in prison and a pay $250,000 fine if convicted.
Fox News’ Katherine Lam, Brooke Singman and the Associated Press contributed to this report.