Missouri man indicted for attempting to disable an Amtrak train in Nebraska
A Grand Jury indictment was returned charging 25-year-old Taylor Michael Wilson of St. Charles, Missouri, with two counts of attempting to disable a train and attempting to interfere with a locomotive engineer or railroad conductor on October 23, 2017.
The first count charges an attempt to wreck, derail and disable on-track railroad equipment and a mass transportation vehicle, specifically, an Amtrak train, while that train was carrying passengers and employees at the time of the offense. If convicted of the count, Wilson faces up to life in prison, a $250,000 fine, and up to five years of supervised release.
The second count charges Wilson with acting with an intent to endanger the safety of any person or with a reckless disregard for the safety of human life while attempting to interfere with, disable, or incapacitate any locomotive engineer or railroad conductor, while that person was employed in dispatching, operating, controlling, or maintaining railroad on-track equipment or a mass transportation vehicle, specifically an Amtrak train, while the train was carrying passengers and employees. If convicted of this count, Wilson faces up to life in prison, a $250,000 fine, and up to five years of supervised release.
Wilson was previously arrested pursuant to a criminal complaint. His initial appearance on the indictment will take place before Magistrate Judge Cheryl Zwart at a time to be determined later.
This case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
Wilson has ties to white supremacist groups and was planning on committing criminal acts or acts of terrorism, court documents show.
Documents state that Wilson breached a secure area and triggered an emergency stop control panel when the train was traveling through Furnas County, Nebraska on October 22, 2017.
Wilson was detained by the train engineer and other Amtrak personnel once the train stopped.
It took roughly an hour for the nearest deputy to arrive on scene, and upon arrival witnessed the train engineer and the passengers holding Wilson on the ground, the documents state.
Wilson was handcuffed, and a fully loaded speedloader and a fully loaded .38 caliber handgun were discovered in his waistband.
A backpack on the train belonging to Wilson was searched, and three additional speed loaders, a box of .38 ammunition, a hammer, a knife, and other objects were found.
Authorities confirmed Wilson was en route from Sacramento to Missouri.
An FBI investigation into Wilson showed he traveled with members of the "Alt-Right" Neo Nazi group to the protests in Charlottesville, Virginia in August.
In addition, an acquaintance of Wilson told authorities he had expressed "an interest in killing black people."
On Dec. 21, a search warrant for Wilson's residence in Missouri was obtained, and "a tactical vest, 11 AR-15 ammunition magazines with approximately 190 rounds of .223 ammunition, one drum-style ammunition magazine for a rifle, 100 rounds of 9mm ammo, white supremacy documents and paperwork, several additional handgun and rifle magazines, gunpowder, ammunition reloading supplies, and a pressure plate " were located inside a hidden compartment behind his refrigerator.
On Dec. 22, Wilson was ordered to have a competency evaluation and competency hearing, and he was deemed competent to proceed.