CLOSINGS: View Closings

Neo-Nazi charged with terrorism in attempt to wreck Amtrak train, complaint says

A white man who was involved with neo-Nazi groups and who attended a "Unite the Right" rally in Charlottesville has b...

Posted: Jan 10, 2018 9:29 AM
Updated: Jan 10, 2018 9:29 AM

A white man who was involved with neo-Nazi groups and who attended a "Unite the Right" rally in Charlottesville has been charged with terrorism for attempting to wreck an Amtrak train, according to a criminal complaint filed in US District Court.

Taylor Michael Wilson, 26, of St. Charles, Missouri, was first arrested back in October on state charges after he entered a secure area of an Amtrak passenger train in rural Nebraska, the complaint states.

He allegedly played with the controls and applied the emergency brakes, causing the train to stop with intent to harm those aboard, the complaint states. Wilson, who had a fully loaded weapon on him, was charged with use of a deadly weapon to commit a felony and felony criminal mischief, both state charges.

He was released on a partially secured bond on December 11, court documents state. But a further search warrant and investigation from the FBI led to the discovery of a stash of firearms at his residence and several connections to what the complaint describes as white supremacist groups. He was arrested again on December 23 and he was ordered detained on January 2, according to the complaint.

Investigators found an arsenal of weapons, ammunition and a hand-made shield at his residence and learned that he had told his roommate he was interested in killing black people, according to the criminal complaint.

Investigators also learned that Wilson had been involved in neo-Nazi groups, and that he was once suspected of pointing a firearm at a black woman in a road rage incident, the complaint states.

Jerry Sena, Wilson's attorney, said Wilson plans to plead not guilty to the charges. Sena added that Wilson does not have any history of mental illness, no history of drug abuse and little or no criminal history.

Wilson faces up to life in prison if convicted on the terrorism charges.

Attempted train takeover

Wilson boarded the Amtrak train in Sacramento, California, and was traveling to Missouri when he entered a secure area and triggered an emergency stop on October 22, according to the complaint.

Two Amtrak conductors told the FBI that Wilson continually egged them on as they attempted to detain him, saying "What are you going to do, shoot me?"

Wilson also went through drastic mood swings and "would start saying crazy things about going to the moon," one conductor said.

The train engineer and Amtrak personnel detained him, and he was arrested when police arrived, the complaint states. A deputy with the Furnas County Sheriff's Office found a fully loaded handgun in his waistband and a fully loaded speed-loader, the complaint states.

In addition, a backpack belonging to Wilson contained three more loaded speed-loaders, a box of ammo, a fixed blade knife, a gas mask and other items.

Connections to white supremacy

When he was booked at the Furnas County Sheriff's Office, Wilson was in possession of a business card for the National Socialist Movement, a neo-Nazi party, according to the complaint. He also had a card for the Alabama preacher William Davidson of The Covenant Nation Church, a church based on the belief that "White people are part of the Lost Ten Tribes of Israel," according to the complaint.

A search warrant for his cell phone showed that he had a banner with the annotation "'Hands up don't shoot' is Anti-white fake news -- Altright'" over an unknown highway, the complaint states.

Later, the FBI interviewed Wilson's cousin and roommate, who said Wilson had joined an "alt-right" group that Wilson had found researching white supremacy forums online, the complaint states.

Wilson also traveled with what the complaint describes as a neo-Nazi group to the "Unite the Right" protests in Charlottesville, Virginia, that became violent, according to his cousin. The cousin said he wasn't sure if Wilson brought anything other than a shield and a bulletproof vest, but he said that Wilson had about 20 to 25 firearms and normally carried a firearm on him.

His cousin said Wilson expressed an interest in "killing black people" and others besides whites, especially during the protests in St. Louis this fall after the acquittal of a St. Louis police officer who fatally shot a black man, the complaint states.

Wilson also made statements that the cousin interpreted to mean that Wilson and his group were behind "Whites Only" signs that were placed on businesses, the complaint states.

In September, several bars and restaurants in The Grove neighborhood of St. Louis discovered the "Whites Only" stickers on their businesses, CNN affiliate KMOV reported.

The "alt-right" generally refers to the right-wing movement that strictly opposes immigration and argues that white people are under attack in society. White supremacist groups believe that the white race is better than other races and should therefore dominate society, while the term neo-Nazis generally refers to white supremacists who support genocide or ethnic cleansing.

The complaint states that investigators conducted a search warrant of his residence and located a hidden compartment behind his fridge that contained a large amount of weaponry: a tactical vest, scores of ammunition magazines and a handmade shield as well as white supremacy documents and paperwork.

Wilson's father, Michael Wilson, provided investigators with his son's firearms, ammo and tactical body armor. One of the firearms was a fully automatic rifle, and another was converted to a short rifle, both possible federal crimes, the complaint states.

Road rage

Wilson had no evident criminal history, but investigators discovered that he was a suspect in a road rage incident in which he allegedly pointed a handgun at a black woman in St. Charles, the complaint states.

The woman told police the license plate number of the man's vehicle, which was then traced to Wilson. But police were later unable to locate her, so the case was placed in inactive status, the complaint says.

Wilson told his cousin about an incident in which he pointed a gun at somebody while driving, according to the complaint, a story that the complaint says fits the description of the road rage incident in St. Charles.

Huntsville/Redstone
Clear
39° wxIcon
Hi: 56° Lo: 37°
Feels Like: 39°
Muscle Shoals
Clear
45° wxIcon
Hi: 57° Lo: 36°
Feels Like: 43°
Huntsville/Madison
Clear
31° wxIcon
Hi: 55° Lo: 35°
Feels Like: 31°
Decatur
Clear
35° wxIcon
Hi: 57° Lo: 38°
Feels Like: 35°
Fort Payne
Clear
30° wxIcon
Hi: 58° Lo: 38°
Feels Like: 30°
WAAY Radar
WAAY WAAY-TV Cam
WAAY Temperatures

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 498887

Reported Deaths: 10122
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson719121402
Mobile36328740
Madison32639469
Tuscaloosa24372421
Montgomery22765520
Shelby22231218
Baldwin19890289
Lee15057158
Calhoun13901294
Morgan13770255
Etowah13407325
Marshall11452213
Houston10130264
Elmore9499190
Limestone9429138
St. Clair9041227
Cullman8991183
Lauderdale8618214
DeKalb8507175
Talladega7628165
Walker6593259
Jackson6551104
Autauga633392
Blount6246128
Colbert6004121
Coffee5268104
Dale4676107
Russell407333
Franklin400078
Covington3998106
Chilton3902103
Escambia379273
Tallapoosa3631143
Clarke344553
Chambers3432111
Dallas3422142
Pike293273
Marion288595
Lawrence285386
Winston258568
Bibb245758
Marengo243057
Geneva240570
Pickens225557
Barbour213951
Hale212269
Fayette202257
Butler201766
Henry183641
Cherokee178140
Monroe166739
Randolph165140
Washington156836
Macon147745
Crenshaw146555
Clay146054
Cleburne139941
Lamar133933
Lowndes132851
Wilcox122825
Bullock117436
Conecuh107024
Perry106227
Sumter100432
Coosa90224
Greene88732
Choctaw55423
Out of AL00
Unassigned00

Tennessee Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 780894

Reported Deaths: 11534
CountyCasesDeaths
Shelby877551513
Davidson81978873
Knox46346589
Hamilton40635463
Rutherford38663387
Williamson25433204
Sumner21498320
Montgomery17505213
Out of TN1711195
Wilson16553211
Unassigned15813126
Sullivan14489275
Blount14167184
Bradley13039141
Washington12834234
Maury12262162
Sevier12127165
Putnam10647170
Madison10130231
Robertson9016121
Hamblen8086165
Anderson8075158
Greene7317145
Tipton6972103
Coffee6423115
Dickson6274106
Gibson6197141
Cumberland6130123
Carter5996155
McMinn596293
Roane593896
Bedford5826120
Loudon573567
Jefferson5700119
Lawrence557883
Monroe536990
Warren532877
Hawkins527898
Dyer5243101
Franklin475485
Fayette468673
Obion437095
Lincoln415962
Rhea415373
Cocke402596
Cheatham396344
Marshall392257
Campbell382859
Weakley379660
Giles375597
Henderson362374
Carroll349281
White339766
Hardeman339165
Macon337473
Hardin331963
Lauderdale309742
Henry301475
Marion295245
Scott288344
Wayne288230
Overton286258
Claiborne283769
McNairy268653
Hickman267141
DeKalb266951
Haywood264960
Smith257736
Grainger244946
Trousdale239822
Morgan230838
Fentress229644
Johnson217338
Chester202448
Bledsoe201210
Crockett197647
Unicoi181647
Polk178722
Cannon178030
Union173334
Grundy170130
Lake167926
Sequatchie157227
Humphreys155221
Decatur154137
Benton151139
Lewis147525
Meigs126923
Jackson125734
Stewart124125
Clay107131
Houston103732
Perry103628
Moore94616
Van Buren79720
Pickett74623
Hancock49712

Community Events