A Missouri man who abruptly stopped an Amtrak train in southwestern Nebraska while armed has pleaded guilty in federal court.
The U.S. Attorney’s Office reports 25-year-old Taylor Wilson of St. Charles pleaded guilty in federal court to a count of violence against a mass transportation system. The plea could carry a stiff penalty. Since the Amtrak train had passengers onboard, the charge carries a penalty up to life in prison. Wilson also entered a plea in Nebraska on a weapons charge from Missouri.
Sentencing will be held in October.
Wilson pulled an emergency brake in the early morning hours of October 22nd, stopping the Amtrak train with 175 passengers onboard traveling from California to Missouri. Wilson cut the lights to the passenger compartments. Some passengers tired to escape through windows in the train.
The conductor on the train and others subdued Wilson until deputies from both Furnas County and Harlan County arrived at the train, stopped in Oxford, about 23 miles southwest of Holdrege.
The FBI says Wilson has ties to a white supremacist group and had expressed an interest in killing black people.
The FBI reports Wilson had a loaded .38-caliber handgun in his waistband at the time of this arrest on the train. He also had a speed loader in his pocket, plus a backpack with more speed loaders, and a box of ammunition.
Federal prosecutors say Wilson carried calling cards of the National Socialist Movement, one of which read, “Conquer we must, for our cause is just!” Wilson stated that he was “trying to save the train from the black people.”
Wilson had been traveling from Sacramento, California to St. Louis, Missouri.
A search of Wilson’s home in Missouri uncovered more guns and ammunition and white supremacy documents.
Federal investigators suspect Wilson traveled with members of a group to the United the Right rally in Charlottesville, Virginia in August where a woman was killed and 19 injured when a man rammed a crowd with his vehicle.