HOLLY, Mich. – A Holly man called in bomb threats for his own house to try to pin the blame on someone he had problems with in his neighborhood, according to authorities.
Fake 911 calls investigated
Holly police officers said they began investigating a series of fake 911 calls in May 2022. The caller would report that crimes and other serious emergencies were happening in a specific neighborhood, officials said.
The caller used a cellular 911-only phone that made it difficult to determine his identity, according to authorities.
Several calls were made from May through July, and officials gathered evidence that led to a person of interest who lived in the neighborhood, they said.
After police interviewed the person of interest, he moved away from the area, and police couldn’t locate him, according to officials.
August bomb threats
On Aug. 17, authorities said they received a bomb threat from the same caller. He threatened to kill the occupants at the home, according to police.
The next day, a second bomb threat was made to a neighboring home, threatening to kill a family, officials said.
When officers arrived, they said they found indicators that the home might have been broken into, so they evacuated part of the area and requested that Michigan State Police K-9 and Bomb Squad members search inside.
Holly police, MSP troopers, FBI agents, and ATF agents determined there was no bomb inside the home.
Homeowner admits to making calls
Additional bomb threats targeting the home were called in to 911 on Aug. 20, authorities said.
A Holly detective, with the help of the Oakland County Sheriff’s Office, determined that the caller was still at the scene, they said.
The previous person of interest was in another county at the time when this bomb threat was made near the home, according to police. This helped officers determine that the initial person of interest was not responsible for making fake 911 calls.
Holly officers interviewed Robert Edward Nelson, Jr., the owner of the home targeted by the threats. He was originally thought to be the victim of the threats, but admitted to police that he had made the fake 911 calls with the intent to pin the blame on the initial person of interest because they had previous grievances, authorities said.
“I wish to thank the Holly Police Department investigating team and our law enforcement partners at the Michigan State Police, FBI, ATF, and the Oakland County Sheriff’s Office 911 Center for their assistance,” Holly police Chief Jerry Narsh said. “These threats terrorized a community and expended thousands of dollars in law enforcement resources and diverted hundreds of hours of investigative work.”
Nelson, 39, of Holly, was arrested and taken to the Oakland County Jail.
He was arraigned Wednesday (Aug. 24) at 52/2 District Court on three counts of false report or threat of terrorism.
Each count is a 20-year felony, officials said.
A personal bond was set at $10,000, with conditions that were not specified in the release.
A probable cause conference is scheduled for 8:30 a.m. Sept. 2.