Two men have been charged with federal crimes in connection with the sabotage of substations in Washington State, which left thousands without power on Christmas Day.
According to federal agents, one of the men admitted to turning off the power in order to commit a burglary by emptying the cash register of a local business during the outage.
According to the FBI, cell phone records led to the arrests of Matthew Greenwood, 32, and Jeremy Crahan, 40, both of Puyallup, Washington. Both men have been charged with conspiracy to damage energy facilities, according to documents unsealed Tuesday, and Greenwood has also been charged with possession of an unregistered firearm.
The sabotage follows a series of other attacks on power infrastructure across the United States, including one that caused a major outage in North Carolina.
The Department of Homeland Security has previously warned that power infrastructure is a “attractive” target for domestic terrorists; however, no political motivations are mentioned in the charging documents for Greenwood and Crahan.
“We have seen an increase in attacks like these in Western Washington and across the country, and we must take each incident seriously,” U.S. Attorney Nick Brown said in a statement. “The Christmas power outages left thousands in the dark and cold, putting some who rely on medical devices in grave danger.”
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