Feds charge man who intentionally derailed train near USNS Mercy

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A train engineer told police in Los Angeles that he intentionally crashed his locomotive at high speed near the USNS Mercy hospital ship in what seems to be a freakish attempt to expose a perceived conspiracy.

According to the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Central District of California, Moreno told LA port police that he believed the Mercy could be part of a government takeover.

According to an affidavit, he said he thought his act would bring media attention and "people could see for themselves", referring to the Mercy.

He allegedly went on to say, "You only get this chance once". I had to. People don't know what's going on here.

He told the Los Angeles Port Police that he thought the Mercy was being used for something other than easing the burden on Los Angeles hospitals by treating non-coronavirus related patients, an affidavit says.

"Yesterday afternoon, we received word that at approximately 12:35, a PHL locomotive pulling a single rail vehicle was traveling at a high rate of speed, and travelled off the end of a dead end track in the Port of Los Angeles".

Moreno told officials that he believed the ship was there for a nefarious objective and not simply to help patients suffering from the coronavirus.

'It would have had to have gone several hundred yards through a parking lot and cross a water channel to reach the ship, ' Sanfield said.

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In a second interview, he told Federal Bureau of Investigation agents that he had wanted to "wake people up" and that he didn't think the Mercy was "what they say it's for".

A California Highway Patrol officer caught Moreno as he allegedly tried to escape from the scene, according to the complaint.

Moreno was later turned over to the L.A. Port police and was charged with one count of train-wrecking.

Moreno does not work for the port, rather is an employee of Pacific Harbor Line Inc., which handles cargo in the port and connects to major railroad lines, the AP reports.

"Railroads have the authority to revoke the certification for prohibited conduct", Friedman said, adding that without certification, Moreno will be unable to work as an engineer for any US railroad.

The locomotive crashed through a series of barriers and fences before coming to rest more than 250 yards (230 meters) from the U.S. Navy Hospital Ship Mercy on Tuesday, the U.S. Department of Justice said in a release.

FILE - In this March 27, 2020, file photo, The USNS Mercy enters the Port of Los Angeles in Los Angeles.

Sanfield said the Port of LA did not have a cost estimate for repairs but called the damage minimal.

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