MIAMI – A California man suspected of causing a bomb hoax at a downtown Miami building that houses the Israeli and German consulates has been indicted by a federal grand jury.
Federal prosecutors said Friday that 52-year-old William Rolland of Auburn, Calif., has been formally charged with one count of conveying a false bomb threat. If convicted, he faces up to five years in prison.
Investigators said that on July 25, Rolland walked into a lobby of an office building on North Biscayne Boulevard and began talking loudly on a cell phone while videotaping the lobby with a camera. A security guard approached him and asked if he needed anything. Rolland initially ignored the guard, then later confronted him and asked if he had a problem with him talking on his phone, according to an FBI agent's affidavit. The guard said he didn't have a problem.
Rolland then went outside and started videotaping the outside of the building. He then came back into the lobby and told the security guard and a building engineer, "Listen, I am going to blow up the building tomorrow," the affidavit said.
Miami police responded and took Rolland, who was carrying a suitcase and a shoulder bag, into custody. No explosives were found in the bags.
Rolland's attorney, Robert W. Stickney, said Saturday his client is a videographer and was at the building on business. He insisted Rolland did not make the statement attributed to him, and he said his client didn't know the consulates were in that building.
"This didn't happen," Stickney said. "My client's innocent. This is a security guard who is out of control."
Electronic court records indicate that a judge agreed to release him on $300,000 bond.
Arraignment is set for Aug. 23.