A St. Charles man who was charged by complaint with a terrorism offense last month after allegedly stopping an Amtrak train in Nebraska is now facing a grand jury indictment on two related charges and could face gun charges in St. Louis.
A federal grand jury in Nebraska on Wednesday indicted Taylor Michael Wilson, 26, on one count of attempting to or threatening to “wreck, derail, and disable railroad on-track equipment and a mass transportation vehicle” on Oct. 22 and one count alleging he attempted “to interfere with, disable, or incapacitate any locomotive engineer or railroad conductor.” The first charge is the same as in the original criminal complaint.
That complaint claims Wilson breached a secure area of the train, and was found in the engineer’s seat of the follow engine on the train “playing with the controls” of the train.
He struggled with Amtrak staff and was later found with a handgun in his waistband.
An FBI investigation would later discover “alt-right” and “neo-Nazi” literature, a black woman’s complaint that Wilson pointed a gun at her in a “road rage” incident in St. Charles in 2016 and claims by Wilson’s cousin that he’d attended the Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville, Va., with a neo-Nazi group and spoke of wanting to harm blacks, the complaint says.
Wilson was released from jail in Nebraska on Dec. 11 on bail and returned with his parents to their home in St. Charles.
An FBI raid of the home he shared with his cousin in St. Charles on Dec. 21 uncovered more than 1,000 rounds of ammunition, “white supremacy documents and paperwork,” gunpowder and a “pressure plate” that an FBI agent described as a device commonly used to construct an improvised explosive.
Wilson’s father then turned over 15 rifles and pistols and body armor that belonged to his son, the complaint says, including a fully automatic rifle.
At a Dec. 28 detention hearing in St. Louis, Assistant U.S. Attorney Matt Drake said Wilson could face federal charges here for the automatic weapon and a short-barreled rifle that were among the guns seized, according to a recording of the hearing.
Drake said prosecutors were concerned that Wilson was a “danger to the community,” due in part to “very concerning” views, including an interest in violence and harm to others.
Wilson has no prior nontraffic offenses and sought mental health counseling while on bond after state charges were filed in Nebraska, lawyer Robert Wolfrum said in court. Wolfrum, who was seeking to get Wilson released, also said Wilson’s parents were trying to get him drug counseling and thought he could go back to work.
Wilson’s lawyer for the federal charges in Nebraska, Jerry Sena, said Thursday that Wilson would plead not guilty to the indictment.
Sena said the mental counseling mentioned in St. Louis was actually a competency evaluation in state court, which found Wilson fit to proceed. He declined to comment on the reference to drug treatment.