The FBI is examining whether a man accused of intentionally derailing a freight train near the Navy hospital ship Mercy, which is docked in San Pedro to help with the coronavirus crisis, had any ties to extremist groups, and agents are digging into his social media background.
Eduardo Moreno, 44, of San Pedro was charged with deliberately wrecking a train during the incident Tuesday, which led to a derailment and fuel leak, according to the charges.
“Moreno is the only person charged in the case. While the government has made no allegations linking Moreno to an extremist ideology, our investigation is continuing,” the FBI said in a statement to The Times.
Prosecutors allege that Moreno derailed the train and deliberately crashed through barriers designed to stop engines before grinding to a halt 250 yards from the Mercy.
Prosecutors said Moreno admitted during an interview that he had run the train beyond the track because he believed the Mercy was part of suspicious activities involving the coronavirus.
Moreno, according to multiple sources, believed the Mercy was part of a government control conspiracy designed to divide and control the people. The sources spoke on the condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to comment publicly on the incident.
Moreno was an employee of Pacific Harbor Line, which operates inside the Los Angeles and Long Beach port complex. He had been a locomotive engineer for several years.
According to an affidavit, he said he thought his act would bring media attention and “people could see for themselves,” referring to the Mercy.
Moreno appeared Wednesday in court, and his bond hearing was delayed until Friday.
According to sources familiar with the investigation, officials have found he was a member of a Facebook group interested in train crashes.