2 arrested in power substation vandalism in Washington state

2 arrested in power substation vandalism in Washington state

SEATAC, Wash. (AP) — Prosecutors in the United States said on Tuesday that they had detained two individuals and accused them of vandalizing electrical substations in the state of Washington, acts that had left thousands without power during the holidays.

Both Puyallup residents, 32-year-old Matthew Greenwood and 40-year-old Jeremy Crahan were arrested on Saturday night and are scheduled to appear in U.S. District Court in Tacoma on Tuesday.
Greenwood is also accused of having a short-barreled rifle and a short-barreled shotgun, while both he and the other defendant are charged with conspiracy to harm energy facilities in a newly unsealed complaint. It claimed that they were responsible for the assaults on four substations in Pierce County, based on evidence including cellphone data.
According to the complaint, following his arrest, Greenwood informed police that he and his accomplice had intentionally cut electricity to a company so that they could break in and take money from the register. The name of the company was redacted from the formal complaint.
There was some confusion about whether or not the guys were represented by lawyers.
More than 10,000 consumers lost electricity because of the assaults on December 25. After a massive outage in North Carolina last month that took days to fix, officials cautioned that the U.S. electrical infrastructure needed improved protection to avoid domestic terrorism.
The four substations that were attacked were the Graham and Elk Plain substations run by Tacoma Power, and the Kapowsin and Hemlock substations operated by Puget Sound Energy. There was at least $3 million worth of damage to Tacoma Power substations, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

A 20-year jail sentence is possible for those who plot attacks on energy infrastructure. A person may go to jail for up to 10 years for having an unlicensed weapon in their possession.