Man Indicted in Hitching Post Fire

 
by Taylor Viydo, tviydo@k2tv.com 
 
A federal jury in Cheyenne has indicted a New Mexico man in connection with the 2010 arson fire that destroyed Cheyenne's Hitching Post Hotel. 
 
44 year old Robert Rodriguez of Albuquerque is accused of setting fire to the iconic hotel and using fire to further mail fraud. According to documents from the US attorney's office, Rodriguez appeared in distirct court in Cheyenne today, and was ordered held without bond. US district judge Nancy Freudenthal has sealed court documents in the case, including the complaint made against Rodriguez. 
 
The fire destroyed much of the Hitching Post on September 15th, 2010. Investigators initially concluded that the fire was arson. However, no arrests were made at the time. 
 
The fire has been the at center of an ongoing legal battle between the owners of the Hitching Post and an insurance company. CJM hospitality, which owns the hotel, has since sued the National Surety Corporation in New Jersey. CJM says that the company refused to cover the loss of the hotel. However, National Surety says the owners intentionally burned down the hotel to collect insurance money. 
 
In may, a federal judge in New Jersey granted a motion from the company to move the case back to Wyoming. 
 
Meanwhile, both federal and local authorities continue to investigate the fire. The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms is leading the investigation with assistance from the Cheyenne Police and Fire Departments. 


The Hitching Post Hotel in 2010