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Auburn man indicted for alleged bomb threat is back home

Client grateful for support from community, attorney says
By: Bridget Jones, Journal Staff Writer
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An Auburn resident is back home after being charged with allegedly making a false bomb threat in Miami. According to a press release issued by the United States Attorney’s Office, Southern District of Florida, William Michael Rolland, 52, was indicted Aug. 11 in connection to a July 25 alleged threat to blow up a building on North Biscayne Boulevard in Miami. According to the U.S. Attorney’s Office, on July 25 Rolland allegedly told officials in the lobby of the building he was going to come back the next day and “blow up the building.” The building houses the Israeli and German consulates, according to the Associated Press. Rolland is being charged with one count of conveying a false bomb threat, and could face up to five years in prison if convicted. He would also be responsible for reimbursing the city of Miami the cost of responding to and investigating the incident, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office. Attorney Robert Stickney, of Florida, who is representing Rolland in the case, said Rolland was supposed to be in the building that day, and the allegations of what happened are false. Stickney said the security guard who Rolland allegedly made the threat to was “out of control.” “My client was hired by a Fortune 100 company to be inside that building, to be at the building to do work,” Stickney said. “He is a videographer. He was there on legitimate business. This didn’t happen. My client’s innocent. He was there at that building and scheduled to interview the CEO of a company that is housed in that building the very following day.” Stickney said when Rolland was outside video taping the building, a security guard from inside came out and told him he was not allowed to be videotaping. Stickney said Rolland told the guard he was allowed because he was videotaping from the sidewalk. Rolland had also checked in at the lobby of the building that day and told them what he was doing there, Stickney said. Stickney said the guard then told Rolland he would call the police if he didn’t stop. “Before my client left that area knowing the security guard said he was going to call the police, my client went back to the front of the building and told the security guard that, ‘If you did call the police and they want to talk to me, please send them to the Intercontinental Hotel. This is my room number,’” Stickney said. Stickney said there is surveillance footage of Rolland talking to the guard, but it has no sound. Stickney said the footage shows Rolland pointing across the street to his hotel before he left, and this is when the guard said the bomb threat was made. When Rolland was later arrested, no explosives were found in his bags, according to the Associated Press. U.S. Attorney Wilfredo Ferrer said the U.S. Attorney’s Office takes the case very seriously. “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,” Ferrer said. “For this reason, we will diligently investigate and prosecute these cases.” Rolland is expected to be arraigned Aug. 23 in Miami, and Stickney said they will enter a not guilty plea and then the case will go to trial. “This is the most difficult thing I think he’s ever faced in his life,” Stickney said. “It’s a very difficult situation for him. As you can imagine, when charged with a federal offense, it’s a very serious allegation that’s been made. He takes it seriously. He’s fighting it and he’s trying to maintain the best spirits possible.” Stickney said he advised Rolland and his wife, Lisa, not to speak to the media. He said their phone has been ringing off the hook, but did not specify if those were solely media related calls. Rolland was unavailable for comment Tuesday. Lisa Rolland said the couple is only speaking to Stickney, and referred the Journal to him. According to his website, billrolland.com, Bill Rolland, Inc. “specializes in writing, directing, and producing corporate ‘interview-style’ videos. With its worldwide partnerships and global reach, Bill Rolland, Inc. is able to provide video production resources wherever they are needed.” According to the website, Rolland has worked with companies like Kawasaki Motors Corp., USA and Cisco Systems, Inc. Rolland was released on a $300,000 bond during the last week of July and is now home with his wife and two children in Auburn. He is permitted to travel throughout the United States and the world, Stickney said. Stickney said Rolland is grateful for the support he is receiving in the Auburn community. “The other part I would like you to know is my client has lived in your community for a long time, and he has got a lot of friends in the community,” Stickney said. “And he appreciates the support they have given him. He’s not a threat to, or a danger to, your community or any community.” Reach Bridget Jones at bridgetj@goldcountrymedia.com