SAN PEDRO, LOS ANGELES (CNS) – A former train driver in the Port of Los Angeles pleaded guilty on Thursday to federal terrorism charges for deliberately hitting a train at full speed near the Navy hospital ship Mercy last year had driven the rails the ship was docked in the port as part of a conspiracy, possibly a “takeover of government”.
Eduardo Moreno, 45, of San Pedro, pleaded for charges of terrorist attack and other violence against railroad companies and mass transportation systems, which the US claims could result in prison terms of up to 20 years and lifelong supervised release.
However, Moreno’s informed consent states that the government intends to seek a prison sentence of about six and a half years and a $ 700,000 refund to Pacific Harbor Line, the port’s railroad company.
A verdict was scheduled for March 11th.
No one was injured and the USNS Mercy was not damaged in the March 31, 2020 incident. Fuel leaked from the train, which required pollution control.
In an interview with FBI agents, Moreno stated that he pulled the train off the track in a desire to wake people up because the Mercy was “suspicious” and not what they claimed, according to documents filed in Los Angeles Federal Court.
The train wreck was observed by a California Highway Patrol officer who arrested Moreno while he was on the run, federal prosecutors said.
The officer reported that he saw the train hit a concrete barrier at the end of the track, crash into a steel barrier, crash into a chain link fence, slide through a parking lot, slip over another gravel-filled parking lot, and into a second shattered chain link fence ‘ ‘according to court records.
When the CHP official contacted Moreno, he made a number of impromptu statements, including: “This chance is only given once. The whole world is watching. I had to. People don’t know what’s going on. Now they will . ” “According to court records.
In his first interview with port police, Moreno admitted to crashing the train and said he was suspicious of the Mercy and believed it had another purpose related to COVID-19, such as a “government takeover “Said prosecutors.
Moreno said he acted alone and did not plan the attack in advance. While admitting that he deliberately derailed and crashed the train, he said he knew it would get media attention and “people could see it for themselves,” referring to the Mercy, they said US Attorney General.
LA Harbor Police checked videos captured from the locomotive’s cab, officials said. A video clearly shows the train moving at high speed before breaking through various barriers and getting close to three occupied vehicles. According to the public prosecutor’s office, a second video shows Moreno in the driver’s cab with a flare.
The Mercy docked at the port on March 27, 2020. Their 1,000 hospital beds served as a relief valve for Southland hospitals that were overcrowded with coronavirus patients. The hospital ship did not treat COVID-19 patients.
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