Two men charged with attacks on four Pierce County power substations
TACOMA, Wash. (KPTV) - Two men are expected to appear in U.S District Court in Tacoma Tuesday on charges related to attacks on four power substations that left thousands without power, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.
On Christmas morning, four power substations in Pierce County were vandalized, impacting 14,000 households and businesses. On New Year’s Eve, the FBI arrested 32-year-old Matthew Greenwood and 40-year-old Jeremy Crahan.
The four substations that were targeted were the Graham and Elk Plain substations operated by Tacoma Power and the Kapowsin and Hemlock substations operated by Puget Sound Energy. The damage to just the Tacoma Power substations was estimated to be at least $3 million.
The FBI identified Greenwood and Crahan as suspects after analyzing their phone records. One of the Tacoma Power substations caught images of one of the suspects and a pickup truck that was tied to the two men. When law enforcement arrested Greenwood and Crahan, they found the same clothing caught on camera and seized two unregistered guns, one with a makeshift silencer.
“I commend the work by the FBI to quickly identify these suspects and disrupt any future attacks on the east Pierce County power grid,” said U.S. Attorney Nick Brown. “We have seen attacks such as these increase in Western Washington and throughout the country and must treat each incident seriously. The outages on Christmas left thousands in the dark and cold and put some who need power for medical devices at extreme risk.”
The two men were charged with conspiracy to damage energy facilities and possession of an unregistered firearm. According to the U.S. Attorney’s Office, conspiracy to attack energy facilities is punishable by up to 20 years in prison, and possession of an unregistered firearm is punishable by up to ten years in prison.
Prosecutors will ask that both men remain detained at the Federal Detention Center at SeaTac.
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