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2 plead guilty to vandalizing Washington power substations, leaving thousands without power on Christmas Day

Two men have pleaded guilty to vandalizing power substations in Washington state in attacks that left thousands without power on Christmas Day.

Jeremy Crahan, of Puyallup, admitted Wednesday in U.S. District Court in Tacoma that he and Matthew Greenwood conspired to cut electrical power in order to break into ATM machines and businesses and steal money, Acting U.S. Attorney Tessa M. Gorman said in a news release.

According to the plea agreement, Crahan, 40, and Greenwood, 32, damaged four power substations on Dec. 25, 2022. The substations targeted were the Graham and Elk Plain substations operated by Tacoma Power and the Kapowsin and Hemlock substations operated by Puget Sound Energy.

Both face up to 20 years in prison.

Officials have warned that the U.S. power grid needs better security to prevent domestic terrorism and after a large outage in North Carolina last year took days to repair.

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