News and Press Releases

CALIFORNIA MAN CHARGED IN BOMB HOAX

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
August 12, 2011

Wifredo A. Ferrer, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Florida, and Special John V. Gillies, Special Agent in Charge, Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Miami Field Office, announced that William Michael Rolland, 52, of California, was indicted yesterday in connection with a July 25 threat to blow up a downtown Miami office building. Arraignment has been scheduled for August 23, 2011, at 10:00 A.M.

More specifically, Rolland was charged with one count of conveying a false bomb threat, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 1038(a)(1). If convicted, Rolland faces a maximum statutory sentence of up to five years in prison. In addition, he would be required to reimburse the City of Miami for expenses it incurred in responding to and investigating this matter.

According to the complaint affidavit previously filed in the case, on July 25, 2011, Rolland walked into a lobby of an office building located on North Biscayne Boulevard, Miami, FL, and stated to individuals in the lobby that he would return the next day and “blow up the building.” The defendant’s actions resulted in a significant response by the City of Miami Police Department, including deployment of its bomb squad. In addition, to ensure public safety, the police closed-off a large area of downtown Miami while the threat was investigated.

U.S. Attorney Wifredo Ferrer stated, “Hoaxes divert our first responders from their duties, expose them to potentially dangerous situations, and result in a large and unnecessary expenditure of tax payer dollars. For this reason, we will diligently investigate and prosecute these cases.”

“Threats like this bomb scare by Mr. Rolland are serious crimes and warrant a serious response,” said John V. Gillies, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI’s Miami Office. “They scare innocent people and waste valuable law enforcement resources, which could be better spent responding to actual crimes. These type of threats will be investigated thoroughly and vigorously by the FBI and our partners.”

Miguel A. Exposito, Chief of Police for the Miami Police Department stated, “We take all bomb threats seriously, using all resources at our disposal to address such threats. We cannot allow individuals to create a chaotic situation and simply ignore it. Situations such as the one involving Mr. Roland threaten the safety of our community and must be prosecuted to the full extent of the law."

He would also be required to reimburse the City of Miami and any other state and local fire rescue and law enforcement agencies for expenses incurred in their response and investigation of this incident.

Mr. Ferrer commended the investigative efforts of the FBI. Mr. Ferrer also thanked the City of Miami Police Department and Fire Rescue for their assistance in this matter. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys William White and Michael Nadler.

An Indictment is only an accusation and a defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.

Attachments:
Rolland Indictment (PDF)

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A copy of this press release may be found on the website of the United States Attorney's Office for the Southern District of Florida at http://www.usdoj.gov/usao/fls. Related court documents and information may be found on the website of the District Court for the Southern District of Florida at http://www.flsd.uscourts.gov or on http://pacer.flsd.uscourts.gov.

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