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PHOTOS: Oregon home rigged with booby traps, tripwires and spike strips

Federal prosecutors released photos used to convict an Oregon man. The traps he set included a hot tub turned on its side designed to flatten those who approached.

PORTLAND, Ore. — Photos and video released by federal prosecutors show how a man rigged a home in southern Oregon with booby traps, barricades and tripwires.

In early June, a federal jury in Medford convicted Gregory Rodvelt, 71, of multiple crimes related to his makeshift weapons that injured an FBI bomb technician. The U.S. Department of Justice provided copies of trial exhibits in response to KGW’s request.

The rural property had various booby traps, including a round hot tub turned on its side, designed to flatten anyone who approached. The trap was like a scene from the movie “Raiders of the Lost Ark” in which Indiana Jones is forced to outrun a giant boulder, Rodvelt described to an FBI agent, according to court records.

Credit: USDOJ
A round hot tub was rigged to roll down the hill and hit whoever came through the gate.
Credit: USDOJ
During an interview, Rodvelt told investigators he set up fishing line and a tripwire across the property gate that went to the hot tub.

Rodvelt had lost the home in a lawsuit. After learning it would be sold, he set-up a maze of booby traps, federal prosecutors alleged.

When law enforcement arrived on September 7, 2018, they found a minivan blocking the gate. There were steel animal traps, hidden under the hood of the minivan and affixed to a gate post.

Credit: USDOJ
The minivan was rigged with steel traps commonly used to trap wild animals.

Investigators also found homemade spike strips along the long, gravel driveway.

Credit: USDOJ
Investigators found spike strips with large nails driven into them — intended to damage vehicle tires.


Credit: USDOJ
A sign warned of improvised munitions on the rural Oregon property.

The hot tub was rigged to roll down a hill if anyone opened the gate.

Credit: USDOJ
Based on the presence of other booby traps, bomb technicians decided to use an explosive charge to breach the front door of the home.

Police and the FBI used an explosive charge to breach the front door. No one was inside the home. While entering, investigators bumped a wheelchair. It triggered a homemade shotgun device, striking an FBI bomb tech in the leg. He was treated at the hospital and released.  A closer look revealed the boobytrap used fishing line as a trip wire, which set-off a mousetrap, triggering a shotgun shell. 

Credit: USDOJ
Rodvelt created a homemade shotgun device using a rat trap, a piece of wood and piece of pipe, which fired a .410 shotgun shell.

A video submitted at trial showed how federal agents recreated the homemade weapon to illustrate how it worked. 

Rodvelt faces up to 20 years in prison. Sentencing is scheduled for October.

Watch: More KGW investigations here


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