Oregon Man Convicted of Assaulting FBI Agent After Setting Elaborate Booby Traps Around His Former Home


Homemade spike strips at the bottom of the driveway. A rat trap rigged to fire a shotgun shell when someone tried to open the door to a detached garage. A hot tub on its side set to roll toward anyone who opened the gate.

Gregory Lee Rodvelt had lost his property in rural Josephine County in an elder abuse case and didn’t want anyone to take it without a fight, court records alleged.

A federal jury in Medford last week found the 71-year-old guilty of setting booby traps at his former manufactured home in Williams, a town of 2,200 people, including one that injured an FBI bomb technician in September 2018.

State and FBI bomb technicians had gone to the 15-acre property off Dreamhill Drive at the request of a real estate lawyer who was working to sell it, according to court records.

In addition to the aforementioned booby traps, federal investigators said Rodvelt also rigged a minivan to block the gate, affixed steel animal traps to a gate post, barred the home’s windows from inside and set up a wheelchair in the entryway to fire a .410-caliber shotgun shell.

The technicians used an explosive charge to breach the front door and carefully entered the home only to bump the wheelchair, authorities said. The shot hit FBI bomb technician Andrew Sellers below the knee.

The jury returned its verdict Friday after a six-day trial, finding Rodvelt guilty of assaulting a federal officer with a deadly or dangerous weapon and using and discharging a firearm during a crime of violence.

Rodvelt had used his mother’s money to buy the property in his own name, according to prosecutors. About a year later, due to concerns about his treatment of his mother, Rodvelt’s trustee status was revoked. A receiver was appointed to sell the property.

Rodvelt will be sentenced Oct. 4 in Eugene before U.S. District Judge Michael J. McShane.

This case was investigated by the FBI with assistance from state police and the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.