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Guy Who Rigged Home With Booby Traps Guilty of Felony

An FBI agent was shot in the leg by a booby-trapped wheelchair
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 2, 2018 3:30 AM CDT
Updated Jun 7, 2023 1:17 PM CDT
FBI Agent Shot by Booby-Trapped Wheelchair
Gregory Lee Rodvelt.   (Surprise Police Department)
UPDATE Jun 7, 2023 1:17 PM CDT

An Oregon man who rigged a home with booby traps—including one inspired by the giant rolling boulder in Raiders of the Lost Ark—has been found guilty of charges including assaulting a federal officer and could face up to 20 years in prison. Prosecutors said Gregory Lee Rodvelt, 71, set up improvised devices in and around the home after he lost it in a lawsuit, NBC reports. Bomb technicians asked to inspect the home in Sept. 2018 managed to dodge traps around the property including a hot tub on its side that was rigged to roll down a hill and hit anybody who came through the gate. After they entered the home, however, an FBI bomb technician was hit below the knee with a shotgun shell from a booby-trapped wheelchair.

Oct 2, 2018 3:30 AM CDT

An Oregon man resisting the sale of his home left booby traps on the property—including one apparently inspired by Raiders of the Lost Ark. Gregory Lee Rodvelt rigged up a hot tub to roll down a hill when a tripwire was triggered, much like the scene where Indiana Jones is "forced to outrun a giant stone boulder," according to court documents. At the property in Williams, southern Oregon, an FBI agent and three bomb squad technicians avoided the hot tub and other hazards, including a minivan booby-trapped with animal snares, but the agent was shot by an empty wheelchair inside the home; it had been rigged to fire shotgun ammunition when it was pushed, the Oregonian reports.

The agent was hospitalized with a shotgun pellet lodged in his leg. Rodvelt, 66, faces a felony count of assault on a federal officer over the Sept. 7 incident, the Mail Tribune reports. He had been ordered to sell the home as part of a $2.1 million judgment against him in an elder abuse case involving his 90-year-old mother. He had been in jail in Oregon after an armed standoff with authorities in April last year but was released for two weeks in August to prepare the property to be turned over, according to court documents. Authorities were contacted when the estate's acting receiver saw a sign saying the property was "protected with improvised devices." (More FBI stories.)

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