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Press Release

Second defendant pleads guilty to conspiracy to attack power substations in Pierce County

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Western District of Washington
Both men who cut power to thousands over the Christmas holiday face up to twenty years in prison

Tacoma – A second defendant who joined in the attacks on power substations as part of a burglary scheme, pleaded guilty today in U.S. District Court in Tacoma, announced Acting U.S. Attorney Tessa M. Gorman. Jeremy Crahan, 40, admits he joined with 32-year-old Matthew Greenwood in a conspiracy to knock out power so they could rob ATM machines. Chief U.S. District Judge David G. Estudillo scheduled sentencing for December 8, 2023.

According to the facts in the plea agreement, Greenwood and Crahan hatched the scheme to disrupt power so they could break into ATMs and businesses and steal money. On December 25, 2022, they damaged four substations:

  • Hemlock Substation in Puyallup, Washington, owned by Puget Sound Energy. Here, the two cut through a fence and Greenwood manipulated a switch damaging equipment and cutting power for 8,000 customers.
  • Elk Plain substation in Spanaway, Washington, owned by Tacoma Power. The men cut padlocks on the gate and Greenwood manipulated breakers to damage equipment and cause an outage.
  • Graham substation in Graham, Washington, operated by Tacoma Power. The men cut through a perimeter fence and Greenwood manipulated a switch to damage equipment. This outage, combined with the Elk Plain substation outage, caused more than 7,500 customers to lose power.
  • Kapowsin Substation in Graham, Washington, operated by Puget Sound Energy. The men cut through a fence and Greenwood tampered with a switch causing sparks, flame, and a power outage.

Crahan admits that he shared in the plannings and primarily served as a lookout during the attacks on the substations.

Following the December 25, 2022, substation vandalism, the men spent time looking for additional ways to cause power outages by felling trees. The goal was to cut power so that they could burglarize businesses and steal from ATMs. Law enforcement arrested them before they could put the tree plan into action.

The FBI is investigating the case with assistance from the Pierce County Sheriff’s Department, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms & Explosives (ATF), the Tacoma Police Department, the Washington State Department of Corrections, and the Federal Protective Service.

The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Todd Greenberg.


Press contact for the U.S. Attorney’s Office is Communications Director Emily Langlie at (206) 553-4110 or

Updated September 6, 2023

Violent Crime