Man accused in 2009 pipe bombing at Freedom Township bar pleads guilty to three felony counts
A Warren man accused of setting off a pipe bomb outside a Freedom Township bar in 2009 has pleaded guilty to three of the felony counts against him.
Nichlolas Casper Kraus, 21, pleaded guilty Friday to arson of a dwelling house, which carries a maximum possibility of 20 years in prison; arson of real property, which carries a maximum of 10 years in prison; and placing explosives near property, causing property damage, which carries a maximum of 20 years in prison and/or a $15,000 fine. He is to appear back in court May 11 for his sentencing.
Authorities say Kraus was part of the group responsible for a Sept. 11 attack at the Pleasant Lake Inn over an alleged financial dispute with the owners. A homemade bomb consisting of gun powder, detonating fuses and other materials fell short of the building and blew a hole in the deck. No one was injured.
Washtenaw County prosecutors charged six men in connection with the explosion and arson. The FBI also is investigating a group called the “Ferris Organization” — an alleged drug trafficking and arson-for-hire ring, in connection with the bombing, federal court documents show.
According to Michigan State Police, several of the group's members went to the bar on Pleasant Lake Road about 11:20 p.m. Sept. 11 on orders to retaliate against an employee who reportedly owed one of their associates money.
One member set a fire in the basement to divert people's attention while another member threw a pipe bomb at the bar, but it fell short of the target, police said.
Court records filed Jan. 6 in federal court in Flint show agents executed a search warrant Dec. 15 at an alleged member's Rogers City home, seizing bank statements and a letter.
According to court records, the organization is believed to have at least 10 members.