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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
District of Colorado

Monday, February 10, 2014

Utah Man Sentenced For Threatening CEO Of Anti-Doping Agency

DENVER – Robert Hutchins, age 60, of Sandy, Utah, was sentenced this morning by Chief U.S. District Court Judge Marcia S. Krieger to serve 1 year probation, with mental health treatment, for sending interstate communications involving a threat, U.S. Attorney John Walsh and FBI Denver Division Special Agent in Charge Thomas Ravenelle announced.  Chief Judge Krieger also ordered Hutchins to serve 50 hours of community service and pay a fine of $3,300, which represents the cost to supervise a person on probation for a year. 

Hutchins was indicted by a federal grand jury in Denver on July 10, 2014.  He pled guilty before Chief Judge Krieger on November 4, 2013.  The defendant was sentenced today, February 10, 2014.

According to the stipulated facts contained in the plea agreement, in 2012, the United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) had been investigating allegations that cyclist Lance Armstrong had achieved his prodigious record by cheating; by “doping” and using drugs and other improper means to win.  As the investigation heated up in the summer of 2012, Chief Executive Officer of USADA, Travis Tygart, received a barrage of negative public comment, mostly via emails, about USADA’s investigation.  In August 2012, it was anticipated that USADA would announce its findings, including that Lance Armstrong would banned from cycling for life.  On August 23, 2012, Lance Armstrong released a press statement that he would not challenge USADA’s findings.  The negative emails intensified.  On August 24, 2012, USADA, as predicted, made the announcement that Lance Armstrong would be banned from cycling for life and disqualified of all his competitive results from August 1, 1998, through August 24, 2012.  This disqualification included being stripped of his seven Tour de France titles. 

Among the members of the public who were angry over USADA’s methods and conclusions was the defendant, Mr. Hutchins.  Beginning in July 2012, Mr. Hutchins sent two emails USADA voicing his displeasure.  Those emails, while scathing in tone and full of invective, were not threatening. 

On the evening of August 23, 2012, Mr. Hutchins crossed the line and made threats to Travis Tygart.  The email was sent to one of USADA’s email addresses with the subject line “Travis Tygert [sic] Hope you have body guards and bullet proof vest.”   The email read as follows:

Travis Tygert [sic], Hope you have body guards and bullet proof vest, your [sic] a dead man mother f@%&*#.  You just don’t know what you’ve done!!!
You’re a** is f@%&*#.

The email was traced to Mr. Hutchins in Sandy, Utah.  As a result of the threatening email sent on August 23, 2012, Mr. Travis Tygart hired private security for himself and his family, and moved his family to a secure location while the FBI investigated the source of the threat. 

This case was investigated by the FBI.

The defendant was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Valeria Spencer.

Updated June 22, 2015