MEDFORD, Ore.—On June 2, 2023, a federal jury in Medford found a southern Oregon man guilty of multiple crimes resulting from his boobytrapping of a home that injured an FBI bomb technician.
Gregory Lee Rodvelt, 71, a former resident of Williams, Oregon, was found guilty of assaulting a federal officer and using and discharging a firearm during and in relation to a crime of violence.
According to court documents, on September 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.
Assaulting a federal officer with a deadly or dangerous weapon is punishable by up to 20 years in federal prison. Using and discharging a firearm during and in relation to a crime of violence is punishable by up to life in federal prison.
Rodvelt will be sentenced at a later date by U.S. District Court Judge Michael J. McShane.
This case was investigated by the FBI with assistance from OSP and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF). It was prosecuted by Judith R. Harper and Jeffrey S. Sweet, Assistant U.S. Attorneys for the District of Oregon.