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Utah man pleads guilty to email threat over Lance Armstrong ban

Published November 5, 2013 3:00 pm
This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2013, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

A Sandy resident pleaded guilty Monday to sending a threatening email to the head of the United States Anti-Doping Agency as it investigated cyclist Lance Armstrong.

Robert Hutchins, 60, will be sentenced on Feb. 10, 2014, in U.S. District Court of Colorado. He faces a potential penalty of up to five years in prison and up to a $250,000 fine.

A grand jury indicted Hutchins, who is free on bond, in July of one count of interstate communications involving a threat.

Hutchins sent an email to Travis Tygart, head of the anti-doping agency, on Aug. 23, 2012 — just before the agency announced that Armstrong would be banned from cycling for life and stripped of his titles, including seven Tour de France titles. Hutchins, who was unhappy with the investigation, addressed Tygart by name in the subject line with the message: "Hope you have body guards and bullet proof vest."

The rest of the message said Tygart was a "dead man mother f@%&*#. You just don't know what you've done!!! You're a** is f@%&*#. "

The threat led Tygart to hire private security for himself and his family, while also moving them to a secure location while the FBI located the source of the threat. The FBI then traced the email to Hutchins, who was arrested in Utah on July 16.

Last month, Gerrit Kuechle Keats of Clearwater, Fla., pleaded guilty to sending a similar email to Tygart. Keats will be sentenced on Jan. 23, 2014.


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