A local man is in custody after police responding to his Clark home uncovered a cache of weapons and dangerous materials that could be used to make explosive devices, acting Union County Prosecutor Lyndsay V. Ruotolo and Clark Police Chief Pedro Matos jointly announced Tuesday.
Robert J. Wills, 52, is charged with third-degree creating a false public alarm.
At approximately 10 a.m. on Monday, August 5, an emergency dispatcher received a call from a man later identified as Wills, warning that a police presence was going to be needed at his State Street home later in the day because a person intended to commit acts of violence there, according to the preliminary investigation.
Clark Police Department patrol units responding to the home found that Wills was not present, and upon a search, a total of 12 long guns, 3 handguns, quantities of ammunition, fireworks, and materials and chemicals that could be used in the creation of explosive devices were seized.
The investigation quickly revealed that the defendant was at a location in central New York, and members of the New York State Police and Steuben County Sheriff’s Office located and arrested him at a relative’s home without incident. He remains in custody pending extradition to New Jersey and a first appearance and detention hearing to take place in Superior Court.
The Prosecutor’s Office and Clark Police Department thank the various members of the Newark offices of the FBI and Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives, as well as the Joint Terrorism Task Force, New Jersey Office of Homeland Security and Preparedness, New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection, Union County Bomb Squad, Union County Office of Emergency Management, Union County Sheriff’s Office Crime Scene Unit, and Clark Fire Department for their assistance in the investigation, including the search of the defendant’s home and the securing of the various items found therein. The investigation is continuing, and additional charges are being contemplated.
These criminal charges are mere accusations. Each defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty in a court of law.