For Immediate Release
Southern Oregon Man Sentenced to More Than 12 Years in Federal Prison After Boobytrapped Home Injures Federal Officer
MEDFORD, Ore. — A former resident of Williams, was sentenced to more than 12 years in federal prison today after he boobytrapped a southern Oregon home and injured a federal officer.
Gregory Lee Rodvelt, 72, was sentenced to 150 months in federal prison and three years’ supervised release.
“Fueled by anger and bitterness, this defendant boobytrapped a property in southern Oregon with intent to seriously injure someone. Unfortunately, his trap worked, and he injured an FBI bomb technician,” said Nathan J. Lichvarcik, Chief of the U.S. Attorney’s Office Eugene and Medford Branch Offices. “We are fortunate Greg Rodvelt’s actions did not kill a law enforcement officer or community member. Today’s sentence is a just punishment for a serious crime.”
“This individual went through great efforts to set intricate and deadly concealed traps to prevent FBI agents from doing their job. These were no jokes,” said Kieran L. Ramsey, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI Portland Field Office. “Mr. Rodvelt knew he was breaking the law and his reprehensible actions are what landed him this sentence. We are thankful that our agent and other law enforcement officers survived this vicious attempt and we are thankful for our partners at the U.S. Attorney's Office for their diligent work in bringing justice to this case.”
“It is clear that his emplacing multiple layers of boobytraps were intended to hurt or kill a person or multiple people,” said ATF Seattle Field Division Special Agent in Charge Jonathan T. McPherson. “We are thankful that the FBI bomb technician wasn’t more seriously injured and hope that this sentence sends a strong message to not only Mr. Rodvelt but anyone who would contemplate doing something like this.”
“I’m thankful this incident didn’t result in more critical or fatal injuries," said Sergeant Kevin DelGrande of Oregon State Police, “This case highlights the dangers explosive devices present to responding law enforcement officers.”
According to court documents, on Sept. 7, 2018, bomb technicians from Oregon State Police (OSP) and the FBI went to a property in Williams formerly owned by Rodvelt that he had lost in lawsuit. After Rodvelt learned that a receiver had been appointed to sell the property, he proceeded to boobytrap it.
When the bomb technicians arrived at the property, they observed a minivan blocking the gate. The technicians found steel animal traps affixed to a gate post and under the hood of the minivan. They also located homemade spike strips, which the receiver had previously run over. As the technician neared the residence, they observed a hot tub that had been placed on its side and rigged in a manner that when a gate was opened it would activate a mechanical trigger causing the spa to roll toward the person who had opened the gate.
The technicians further observed that the windows of the residence had been barred from the inside and there were security doors at the front and rear of the residence. The front door also had what appeared to be bullet holes from shots fired inside. In the garage, they found a rat trap modified to accept a shotgun shell. Though the trap was unloaded, it was connected to the main garage door so it would be tripped when the door was opened.
The technicians and two other law enforcement officers gathered near the front of the residence and used an explosive charge to breach the front door. The group carefully entered the residence, looking for traps, and found a wheelchair in the center of the front entryway. When the wheelchair was bumped, it triggered a homemade shotgun device that discharged a .410 shotgun shell that struck the FBI bomb technician below the knee. The group administered first aid to the wounded technician and transported him to a local hospital.
On June 2, a federal jury in Medford found Rodvelt guilty of assaulting a federal officer and using and discharging a firearm during and in relation to a crime of violence.
This case was investigated by the FBI with assistance from OSP and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. It was prosecuted by Judith R. Harper and Jeffrey S. Sweet, Assistant U.S. Attorneys for the District of Oregon.