2 men charged in attacks on 4 Washington state substations
Two Washington men have been arrested in connection with Christmas Day attacks on four power Tacoma-area substations that caused at least $3 million in damages and over 15,500 customers to lose power, per a criminal complaint.
Details: Matthew Greenwood, 32, and Jeremy Crahan, 40, both of Puyallup, were charged Tuesday with conspiracy to damage energy facilities — namely, Graham and Elk Plain substations, operated by Tacoma Power, and the Kapowsin and Hemlock substations, operated by Puget Sound Energy.
The big picture: The Washington state attacks came less than three weeks after two electrical substations in North Carolina were targeted in what local authorities described as an attack involving gunfire.
- "We have seen attacks such as these increase in Western Washington and throughout the country and must treat each incident seriously," said U.S. Attorney Nick Brown in a statement Tuesday announcing the arrests of Greenwood and Crahan.
- "The outages on Christmas left thousands in the dark and cold and put some who need power for medical devices at extreme risk."
State of play: Greenwood and Crahan were arrested Saturday after authorities identified them as possible suspects through the analysis of cell phone records, per the complaint. Greenwood faces the additional charge of possession of an unregistered firearm.
- Video surveillance footage captured images of a suspect in a pick-up truck at one of the stations and authorities allege they identified a similar vehicle connected to one of the suspects, along with "distinctive clothing" pictured in the surveillance photos, prosecutors said.
- Greenwood and Crahan face up to 20 years in prison if convicted.