Another man sentenced to prison for torching Hitiching Post Hotel

CHEYENNE, Wyo. (AP) _ A federal judge has sentenced a New Mexico man to serve five years in prison for torching the landmark Hitching Post Inn in Cheyenne.

Judge Nancy Freudenthal in Cheyenne on Thursday ordered Robert Rodriguez, of Albuquerque, to serve three years of supervised release after he gets out of prison. She also ordered him to pay $50,000 restitution to an insurance company.

Rodriguez pleaded guilty in April to arson and conspiracy to commit wire fraud in the 2010 fire that destroyed the hotel. It had served as a favorite gathering place for Wyoming lawmakers for decades before the fire.

Prosecutor Jim Anderson told the judge that Rodriguez's cooperation with investigators was essential in persuading a principal in the company that owned the hotel to plead guilty to related charges last month.

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