SANTA MONICA—A suspect wanted for taking part in protests earlier this year following the death of George Floyd, has been charged in connection with setting fire to a patrol vehicle belonging to the Santa Monica Police Department.
Nation Wilson, 27, of Irvine, CA, was taken into federal custody on Tuesday, October 13, facing charges of destroying the police cruiser, an act authorities discovered he committed, based on evidence they gathered that linked him to the crime.
The Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Los Angeles Division, released a tweet in early-August, showing a picture of Wilson during the protests, asking for more information about the suspect:
Do you recognize this suspect who is seen in photos wearing a hat from Don Pisto restaurant? He's wanted by #FBI & @SantaMonicaPD for the #arson of a police vehicle on May 31, 2020. Call SMPD or FBi to claim the #Reward offered. #SafeLA #FugitiveFridayhttps://t.co/uSJVseZaFX
— FBI Los Angeles (@FBILosAngeles) August 7, 2020
In addition to social media engagement, as well as releasing a wanted poster, the FBI and Santa Monica Police Department were not able to locate Wilson, until authorities discovered he was involved in a domestic dispute in Irvine, where he resides. According to reports, Wilson also set fire to a vehicle belonging to his live-in girlfriend.
According to a witness, who drove Wilson to the protests in Santa Monica on May 31, they believed he was involved in the destruction of the police vehicle, after seeing social media posts with him taking selfies next to the vehicle, which strongly resembled him.
After being arrested, Wilson is expected to make his first court appearance on Tuesday, October 20, in Downtown Los Angeles. He is expected to face a mandatory minimum sentence of five years in federal prison, along with a statutory maximum sentence of 20 years.