FBI agents have seized a large cache of firearms and terrorist and racist literature from a man with neo-Nazi ties now charged with committing an act of terrorism last fall while aboard an Amtrak passenger train in Nebraska.
Taylor Michael Wilson, 26, of St. Charles, Missouri, was arrested on October 21 after he allegedly entered a trailing Amtrak locomotive and activated the train’s emergency braking system in an apparent attempt to derail the train.
Details of the case only became public in late December when a federal complaint was unsealed, revealing Wilson is now charged with carrying out a terrorist attack against a mass transportation system.
Additional charges, including illegal possession of a fully automatic assault rifle and bomb-making material, could come when the case is presented to a federal grand jury.
The newly filed documents disclose that Wilson, who has boasted about his desire to “kill black people,” attended the violent and deadly racist demonstrations last August in Charlottesville, Virginia.
The documents also reveal that Wilson was a suspect, but not charged, following a road rage incident last April. A man in a car registered to Wilson pointed a firearm at a black woman in another vehicle traveling on Interstate 70 near St. Charles, Missouri, they say.
Federal investigators are now focusing on the terrorist attack aboard the Amtrak train.
Charging documents don’t indicate how many passengers were aboard the Amtrak train, bound from California to Chicago via Omaha, when full-emergency braking was activated near Oxford, Nebraska. No one was injured. It took a sheriff’s deputy an hour to get to the rural scene.
The train crew detained Wilson after he was found in the engineer’s seat of the second unstaffed locomotive that provided the assisting motive power for the train. Court documents don’t disclose how the suspect — armed with a loaded handgun — was able to gain access to the restricted area.
The deputy located a fully loaded .38 caliber speed-loader in Wilson’s pants pocket and a loaded .38 handgun in his waist band. The suspect attempted to reach for the weapon while being subdued and restrained by the train crew after the emergency stop, the documents say.
In his backpack, identified by other passengers, deputies found three additional loaded speed-loaders, a box of .38 ammunition, a hammer, a fixed blade knife, tin snips, scissors, a tape measure and a respirator mask.
When he was booked into the Furnas County Jail, corrections officers found two business cards in Wilson’s possession — one from the National Socialist Movement, a neo-Nazi organization based in Detroit, and a second card from “William Davidson, preacher,” of the Covenant National Church of the Lord Jesus Christ, located in Oneonta, Alabama.
Davidson is better known in racist circles as Bill Riccio, who has been widely scorned and discredited by fellow racists who accuse him of being a suspected pedophile and a one-time federal witness.
As part of the investigation, Furnas County deputies obtained a search warrant for Wilson’s cell phone. On it, the documents say, they found saved documents including a .pdf file entitled “100 Deadly Skills,” a series related to killing people, and other survivalist-style manuals, including “The Anarchists Cookbook” and “Poor Man’s James Bond.”
Following Wilson’s arrest, FBI agents interviewed the suspect’s parents, Michael D. and Ann S. Wilson, who disclosed that their son owned several firearms and had a concealed carry permit. The suspect’s parents were unaware of his involvement with neo-Nazi and racist groups and said they “did not know” where he lived in St. Charles, Missouri, the documents say.
But the FBI subsequently learned Taylor Wilson lived in residence on Reservoir Avenue in St. Charles, owned by Michael and Ann Wilson. Armed with a search warrant, FBI agents found a “well-camouflaged hidden compartment” in a wall behind the refrigerator in the home.
Inside, FBI agents “discovered a large amount of evidence,” including a bullet proof vest and 11 AR-15 assault rifle ammunition magazines with approximately 190 rounds of .223 ammunition.
They also found a drum-style ammunition magazine for a rifle, firearms tactical accessories (lights), 100 rounds of 9mm ammunition, approximately 840 rounds of 5.45x39 rifle ammunition, white supremacy documents and paperwork, several additional handgun and rifle magazines, gunpowder, ammunition reloading supplies, and a pressure plate.
The charging documents say the pressure plate comprised of two long rectangular pieces of metal, separated and designed to contact under pressure causing a full circuit. Bomb technicians who examined the pressure plate found in Wilson’s residence said it was “a common device used in the construction of Improvised Explosive Devices (IED’s),” the documents say.
Also located in the secret compartment was a hand-made shield, matching one that Wilson is believed to have used in Charlottesville, the documents say.