MEDFORD, Ore. (TCD) -- A jury has found a 71-year-old man guilty of assaulting a federal officer and other crimes for creating an elaborate booby trap at his house, which had recently been seized by the government.
According to a probable cause affidavit, Gregory Lee Rodvelt owned a home on Dreamhill Drive in Williams, Oregon. On Aug. 22, 2018, a Josephine County Circuit Court judge ordered an attorney to take possession of the home to clean it and later sell it. When the attorney went to the home a week later, he "noted a sign warning that the property was protected by improvised devices."
Several days later, on Sept. 7, 2018, three Oregon State Police bomb technicians and an FBI Bomb Special Agent went to the home at the attorney’s request. Rodvelt had previously been arrested in Arizona for unlawful possession of explosives.
The technicians reportedly saw a minivan parked "in a manner as to prevent vehicles from driving past the front gate," and noticed the car contained two different booby traps. The technicians continued toward the front of the property after deeming it was safe to proceed.
Then, they saw that a hot tub was "rigged in such a manner that when the gate was opened, it would activate a mechanical trigger that would cause the spa to roll toward the person at the gate, much like a scene from the movie 'Indiana Jones — Raiders of the Lost Ark' in which actor Harrison Ford is forced to outrun a giant stone boulder that he inadvertently triggered by a booby trap switch."
In the garage, the technicians discovered a rat trap that had been “altered to accommodate a shotgun shot shell” and was "situated in such a manner that it had been set when the garage door was lifted, the trap would be tripped."
The four bomb technicians used an explosive charge to open the front door to Rodvelt’s home and "immediately" found another booby trap. There was also a wheelchair near the door.
One of the technicians was standing in the threshold when the wheelchair moved, causing an explosion. The technician in the doorway was injured and bled from his leg after being struck by a .410 shotgun pellet. The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Oregon says he was taken to a local hospital for surgery.
Rodvelt was arrested Sept. 8, 2018, in Surprise, Arizona.
Rodvelt was convicted June 2 of assaulting a federal officer and using and discharging a firearm during and in relation to a crime of violence. He faces up to 20 years in prison for assaulting the officer and up to life for discharging a firearm during and in relation to a crime of violence.