Man put on probation for threatening to kill Obama
DENVER – A 21-year-old man who wrote emails threatening to assassinate Barack Obama after his election win has been put on four years of probation with the first ten months to be home imprisonment.
In one of the two email sent on January 12, Timothy Ryan Gutierrez, wrote: “I’m going to assassinate the new president of the United States of America. PS you have 48 hours to stop it from happening.”
A second threat sent around the same time to the same email address stated, “what are you waiting for you have 48 hours remember and one more thing . . . I have rigged 40 pounds of C4 . . . my favorite TNT to 7 cars outside the Mall of America good luck thank you and God bless . . .”
U.S. District Court Judge Christine M. Arguello ordered him to serve 4 years of probation, with the first 10 months in home detention with electronic monitoring, for threatening Obama, who was then the President-Elect of the U.S
Acting U.S. Attorney David Gaouette and FBI Special Agent in Charge James Davis announced the man was also ordered to pay restitution totaling approximately $1,450 to Mall of America Security, as well as a $100 special assessment to a victims of crime fund. Gutierrez is free on a $25,000 unsecured bond.
Gutierrez was indicted by a federal grand jury in Denver on January 27, 2009. He pled guilty before Judge Arguello on May 4, 2009.
The FBI initiated an investigation after receiving two threatening emails via the FBI’s web page, which is housed in Washington, DC.
The FBI immediately contacted the Secret Service regarding the threat to the President-elect.
They also contacted the FBI office in Minneapolis, which resulted in law enforcement activity at the Mall of America. Subsequent investigation revealed that the threats were sent from an IP account located in Andrews, Texas. The account holder there told authorities that the messages likely came from her son, who lived in Cortez, Colorado.
FBI agents went to the apartment in Cortez, where the emails originated. A Toshiba laptop computer was seized. Later, the owner of the laptop, Timothy Gutierrez, claimed he had sent the emails, but that he did not place any explosive devices at the Mall of America nor did he intend to assassinate the then President-elect.
“Threats against our public officials are taken seriously,” said Gaouette. “They are acted upon immediately, and those responsible will be held accountable.”