Two charged in connection to Washington power grid attacks

Power Grid Attacks

Days after what officials called a targeted attack on power substations in North Carolina, NewsNation has exclusively obtained a recent federal law enforcement memo that warned of something strikingly similar. (Getty Images)

(NewsNation) — Two men have been charged with the attacks of four Tacoma, Washington, substations on Christmas that left thousands without power ,U.S. Attorney Nick Brown announced Tuesday.

Matthew Greenwood, 32, and Jeremy Crahan, 40, were arrested Saturday, December 31, 2022, following an FBI investigation that included surveillance video collected from some of the scenes and the analysis of cell phone records, the Federal press release revealed.

“I commend the work by the FBI to quickly identify these suspects and disrupt any future attacks on the east Pierce County power grid,” said U.S. Attorney Nick Brown. 

The four targeted substations were the Graham and Elk Plain substations operated by Tacoma Power, and the Kapowsin and Hemlock substations operated by Puget Sound Energy. It is the latest in what has been a trend of targeted attacks on substations across the country.

Damage to the Tacoma Power substation alone is estimated to be upwards of $3 million.

“We have seen attacks such as these increase in Western Washington and throughout the country and must treat each incident seriously. The outages on Christmas left thousands in the dark and cold and put some who need power for medical devices at extreme risk,” Brown said.

According to the criminal complaint filed with the court late Saturday, December 31, 2022, and unsealed Tuesday, investigators were able to tie a pick-up truck that appeared connected to the attack to one of the defendants and found “distinctive clothing” in the home of one of the suspects that matched what was seen in surveillance photos after securing a search warrant. 

Investigators also uncovered two unregistered short-barreled firearms, one equipped with a makeshift silencer, during a search of one of the defendants home.

Should Greenwood and Crahan be arrested, conspiracy to attack energy facilities is punishable by up to 20 years in prison. Additionally, possession of an unregistered firearm is punishable by up to ten years in prison.

Tacoma Power, which operates two of the targeted stations said in part: “Tacoma Power follows federal reliability standards, including assessing physical risks to our critical energy infrastructure and applying recommended mitigation measures.”

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