Posted at: 10/09/2012 3:47 PM
By: Ben Neary, Associated Press
CHEYENNE, Wyo. (AP) - A New Mexico man has pleaded not guilty to federal charges in a 2010 fire that destroyed a landmark Wyoming hotel.
A federal indictment charges that 44-year-old Robert Rodriguez intentionally set a fire that destroyed the Hitching Post Inn to further mail and wire fraud. He faces a federal arson charge and a charge of using fire in the commission of another felony offense.
Rodriguez appeared Tuesday afternoon before U.S. District Judge Nancy Freudenthal (FREE'-den-thawl) in Cheyenne. She has scheduled his trial for Dec. 3
Court documents indicate Rodriguez was arrested in Sandoval County in New Mexico. Documents that might describe what led investigators to him have been sealed.
The Hitching Post had been a favored lodge and watering hole for Wyoming lawmakers.
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