Enrique Marquez Jr. – a longtime friend of Syed Rizwan Farook, the male shooter in the San Bernardino terrorist attack – agreed to plead guilty to conspiring with Farook in 2011 and 2012 to provide material support to terrorists.
Marquez, 25, of Riverside, is scheduled to enter his guilty pleas Thursday in federal court, according to officials.
In the plea agreement, Marquez agreed to plead guilty to providing material support and resources to terrorists, including weapons, explosives and personnel. Marquez admitted in the plea agreement that he conspired with Farook in 2011 and 2012 to attack Riverside City College (RCC) and commuter traffic on the 91 Freeway.
Marquez also agreed to plead guilty to making false statements in connection with the acquisition of a firearm for being the “straw buyer” of two assault rifles that were used in the shooting rampage at the San Bernardino Inland Regional Center (IRC) on December 2, 2015.
“Defendant Marquez purchased two of the weapons used in the San Bernardino terror attack to murder 14 innocent people and seriously injure 22 others – a horrific act which led to great suffering and a lifetime of pain for the survivors and for the loved ones of those murdered,” said Deirdre Fike, the Assistant Director in Charge of the FBI’s Los Angeles Field Office. “Defendant Marquez provided these weapons to his associate, Syed Rizwan Farook, with whom he conspired to plot chilling terror attacks. I’m gratified that this guilty plea will spare the victims and the San Bernardino community from having to relive the gruesome details of the attack during what would likely be a lengthy trial.”
“With this plea, Enrique Marquez Jr. will be held accountable for his role in plotting terrorist attacks on American soil with Sayed Rizwan Farook in 2011 and 2012, attacks which were, fortunately, not carried out,” said Acting Assistant Attorney General for National Security Mary B. McCord. “Marquez also admitted to making a false statement as part of his straw purchases of weapons for Farook – weapons that were eventually used to carry out the deadly terrorist attack in San Bernardino. Holding those who threaten our national security and public safety accountable will always be the highest priority of the National Security Division and I want to thank all of the agents, analysts, and prosecutors who are responsible for this result.”
Marquez was arrested about two weeks after the attack at the IRC, which was perpetrated by Farook, and his wife, Tashfeen Malik, who were killed in a shootout with law enforcement hours after the attack.
The investigation into the deadly shooting quickly uncovered evidence that, in 2011 and 2012, Marquez purchased two rifles that Farook and Malik later used in the attack that killed 14 people and wounded 22 others at the IRC.
A law enforcement officer was wounded during the shootout that afternoon.
According to the plea agreement, Farook paid Marquez for the rifles. Marquez also discussed with Farook the use of radio-controlled improvised explosive devices or IEDs) during the planned attacks on the RCC and State Route 91. Marquez purchased Christmas tree lightbulbs and a container of smokeless powder for use in manufacturing IEDs.
Once he pleads guilty, Marquez will face a statutory maximum sentence of 25 years in federal prison.
Marquez, who did not personally participate in the attack on the IRC, has remained in custody since he was ordered detained at his initial court appearance in this case on December 17, 2015.
San Bernardino County Sheriff John McMahon stated: “December 2nd will forever haunt the memories of the victims’ families and the survivors who have lived through the tragedy. I pray today’s guilty plea brings all of us a bit of justice.”
Also as a result of the investigation into the IRC attack, three people have pleaded guilty to being part of a sham marriage scheme in which a Russian woman “married” Marquez to obtain immigration benefits.
Syed Raheel Farook, the brother of IRC attacker Syed Rizwan Farook; Tatiana Farook, who is Syed Raheel Farook’s wife; and Mariya Chernykh, who is Tatiana Farook’s sister, pleaded guilty earlier this year to immigration fraud charges and admitted being part of conspiracy in which Chernykh paid Marquez to enter into a bogus marriage, according to officials.
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