OWATONNA — Four people have been charged with felonies after one of them allegedly called in a bomb threat that forced the evacuation of Federated Insurance buildings in Owatonna on Tuesday.
Miguel Angel Carreon, 20, William Joseph Wieseler, 26, Joshua Douglas Watkins, 27, and Emily Anne Nelson, 29, were charged on Thursday in Steele County District Court for their reported roles in the bomb threat.
Nelson was charged with making a terroristic threat while Carreon, Wieseler and Watkins were charged with aiding and abetting in a terroristic threat. Those felonies are punishable by up to three years in prison and up to $3,000 in fines.
Nelson, Wieseler and Carreon were also charged in relation to a burglary that took place the same day in Ellendale. The three were also charged with mail theft.
Wieseler was charged with second-degree burglary while Nelson and Carreon were charged with aiding and abetting in second-degree burglary.
According to the criminal complaint in the bomb threat, officers with the Owatonna Police Department attempted to serve an arrest warrant on Watkins on the 100 block of West Pearl Street on Tuesday, but he would not let the officers in the house. He did, however, tell officers through the door that Nelson was in Waseca.
About that same time, the bomb threat to Federated was called just after noon Tuesday, according to the complaint. Dispatch reported the bomb threat had been called in by a female.
Officers called Nelson on her cell phone after obtaining her number from the detention center and set up a meeting in Owatonna. Surveillance vehicles spotted her and followed her vehicle to the Cash Wise parking lot where they made a traffic stop. According to the complaint, Nelson was in the car with Wieseler, Carreon and a third man.
Nelson allegedly told officers on the phone that she had called in the bomb threat, according to the complaint.
Nelson reportedly told police that she had been in Waseca with Wieseler and Carreon, where the three used methamphetamine in the Wal-Mart parking lot. According to the complaint, Watkins called Wieseler and told him the police were at his door and he wanted them to call a bomb threat in for Federated.
According to the complaint, Nelson told police that Wieseler had dialed the phone but she made the threat. After the call, Wieseler allegedly broke the phone in half and threw it out the window. Carreon later told police the phone belonged to him.
While being interviewed by police, the suspects allegedly began admitting to burglarizing Lerberg’s Car Wash in Ellendale. The other passenger in Nelson’s vehicle told deputies that he had seen Wieseler use bolt cutters to cut locks at the car wash and that he had emptied coins from machines.
According to the complaint, the other passenger also saw Wieseler give a bag to Carreon to put in the truck of the car. A duffel bag was reported missing from the car wash, and the bag contained power tools.
Police also found envelopes in the trash at the car wash, which Carreon, Wieseler and Nelson had allegedly stolen to try and get checks.
During Thursday’s hearings, Watkins was held due to a probation violation. The other three defendants got varying bail amounts for the separate cases, each of which ran consecutively. Wieseler is next scheduled to appear in court on April 7, while Watkins, Nelson and Carreon will appear again on April 9.
Reach reporter Al Strain at 444-2376 or follow him on Twitter.com@OPPalstrain