Jury Finds Elderly Man Guilty For Turning Wheelchair Into Shotgun-Strapped Booby Trap That Injured FBI Agent

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Kate Hirzel Contributor
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A jury on Friday found a 71-year-old Oregon man guilty of rigging his former home with booby traps and assaulting a federal officer, according to multiple outlets.

The case dates back to 2018, when Gregory Lee Rodvelt learned his former home was going to be taken over and sold by someone else, KGW8 reported Tuesday. In an alleged act of retaliation, he turned his property into a dangerous maze filled with booby traps to harm unwelcome visitors. Rodvelt placed a sign on his property saying the home was “protected with improvised devices,” Oregon Live reported.

Oregon State Police and FBI bomb technicians were tasked with clearing the property in September 2018. A minivan blocked the main gate to the residence, homemade spike strips were scattered around and steel animal traps were attached to the gate and hidden under the van’s hood, KGW8 reported. (RELATED: ‘Just Shoot Me, Bro’ Florida Murder Suspect Says Before Being Fatally Shot)

Technicians also discovered a hot tub positioned on its side and rigged to roll down when the gate was opened, according to the outlet.

 “(It was) 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,” according to the prosecutors’ complaint cited by KGW8.

The windows were secured shut and the door was marked by what appeared to be bullet holes, prosecutors reportedly said. Inside the garage, there was a rat trap that had been altered to fit a shotgun shell. Although unloaded at the time, the trap would be triggered when the garage door opened, according to KGW8.

Technicians used an explosive charge to enter the front door and came across a wheelchair positioned in the entryway. The wheelchair triggered a homemade shotgun device that struck a bomb technician’s leg when it was accidentally bumped, the outlet reported.

The felony “assaulting a federal officer with a deadly or dangerous weapon” carries a maximum sentence of 20 years in federal prison. Additionally, Rodvelt faces another charge of “using and discharging a firearm during and in relation to a crime of violence,” which could lead to a life sentence, according to KGW8. Rodvelt’s sentencing is scheduled for a later date.