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Man pleads guilty to 4 substation attacks on Christmas

By KPTV Staff

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    TACOMA, Washingson (KPTV) — A 32-year-old Puyallup, Wash. man pleaded guilty on Friday to conspiring to destroy electrical energy equipment and power lines in December 2022, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office, Western District of Washington.

In the Tacoma, Wash. U.S. District Court, Matthew Greenwood admitted in a plea agreement that he and co-defendant 40-year-old Jeremy Crahan vandalized four power substations and planned to cut trees that would knock down power lines, according to the U.S. Attorney.

Greenwood also admitted to planning to use the resulting the power outage to break in and steal from ATMs and businesses. However, Greenwood and Crahan were both arrested before they could act on their tree-cutting plan, the U.S. Attorney said.

Greenwood admitted to four Dec. 25, 2022 attacks on substations:

Hemlock Substation in Puyallup, Wash., owned by Puget Sound Energy. About 8,000 customers lost power. Kapowsin Substation in Graham, Wash., operated by Puget Sound Energy. Elk Plain substation in Spanaway, Wash., owned by Tacoma Power. Graham substation in Graham, Wash., operated by Tacoma Power. This outage, combined with the Elk Plain substation outage, impacted more than 7,500 customers. The U.S. Attorney’s Office said in each case, the men cut through perimeter fences or padlocks to access power equipment, then flipped switches or breakers to cause damage and outages.

At the Kapowsin Substation, officials said the tampering caused sparks and flames as well.

Greenwood is scheduled for sentencing on July 21 with Chief U.S. District Judge David G. Estudillo. He faces up to 20 years in prison, but prosecutors have recommended the low end of the sentencing guidelines, because Greenwood has been in intensive drug treatment since his arrest, the U.S. Attorney’s Office said.

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