Southern Oregon man convicted after booby trap injures federal officer

MEDFORD, Ore. – A Southern Oregon man was found guilty of setting a booby trap that injured an FBI bomb technician.

The U.S. Department of Justice said that several years ago, Gregory Lee Rodvelt lost a property in Williams due to a lawsuit. Once he learned someone had been appointed to sell the property, he reportedly booby-trapped it.

On September 7, 2018, bomb technicians from Oregon State Police and the FBI went to the property and found a minivan blocking the gate along with steel animal traps under the vehicle’s hood.

According to the DOJ, the technicians also found homemade spike strips and a hot tub on its side that was rigged to roll over someone if the gate was opened.

Furthermore, the windows of the residence were barred from the inside and heavy-duty security doors were installed. The front door had what appeared to be damage from gunshots fired from inside, according to the DOJ.

Investigators said there was also a rat trap in the garage that had been modified to accept a shotgun shell, though the trap was unloaded.

The technicians and two officers used an explosive charge to breach the front door and enter the residence.

The DOJ said the officers found a wheelchair blocking the front entryway. When bumped, the wheelchair triggered a homemade shotgun device that discharged a .410 shotgun shell, hitting an FBI bomb technician below the knee.

The wounded technician was taken to a hospital to be treated.

On June 2, 2023, Rodvelt — now 71 years old — was found guilty of assaulting a federal officer and using and discharging a firearm during and in relation to a crime of violence.

Rodvelt will be sentenced in a federal court at a later date. He faces up to life in prison.

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