Enrique Marquez Jr., a friend of San Bernadino shooters Syed Farook and Tashfeen Malik who is accused of providing weapons used in the December 2 terrorist attack, was indicted by a federal grand jury on Wednesday on terrorism and marriage fraud charges, NBC News is reporting.
The new charges will be added on to existing charges Marquez already faces in relation to the San Bernadino attacks and previous alleged terror plots. Wednesday’s indictment means Marquez now faces a total of five additional criminal charges: one count of providing material support to terrorists (for allegedly supplying the guns used in the San Bernadino shooting), two counts of making false statements about the guns, one count of marriage fraud, and one count of making false statements involving a marriage.
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As The L.A. Times reports, Marquez already faces criminal charges for allegedly supplying guns to the San Bernadino shooters – guns used in the terrorist attack, which killed 14 people and injured 22 at a conference center. Marquez was not directly involved in the San Bernadino attack – security camera footage from his employer shows that he was at work at the time of the shooting. After the shooting, Marquez called 911 and told the dispatcher that Farook used his (Marquez’) gun during the attack. He also claimed that he had given the gun to Farook “for safe storage.”
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Before the San Bernadino attacks, prosecutors allege that Marquez and Farook had conspired to commit other terrorist attacks as well. Between 2011 and 2012, Farook and Marquez allegedly planned to attack Riverside Community College; specifically, the men intended to throw pipe bombs into the cafeteria from “an elevated position” on the second floor. The two allegedly planned to scope out the cafeteria to determine the best place to throw the bombs “for maximum casualties.”
In another terror plot concocted by Marquez and Farook, the men allegedly planned to throw pipe bombs onto Interstate 91. It is not known where the men targeted specifically, but prosecutors say it was a stretch of road with no exits nearby, which the men believed would maximize casualties.
Both terror plots were abandoned, in part because Marquez allegedly got cold feet when a group of men in nearby Chino were arrested on unrelated terrorism charges.
Investigators believe that Farook and Malik had both been radicalized long before they met in Saudia Arabia and got married. Marquez, at one time a neighbor of Farook’s, had converted to Islam and also became self-radicalized.
In 2014, according to Wenesday’s indictment, Marquez allegedly participated in a sham marriage with a Russian woman who was a relative of Farook’s, according to KABC (Los Angeles). He faces a count of marriage fraud for the fake marriage as well as charges of making false statements related to the marriage.
In a statement, U.S. Attorney Eileen M. Decker said that Marqeuz’ indictment shows that the government will go after not only terrorists, but individuals who support them or attempt to support them.
“This indictment demonstrates that we will hold accountable all individuals who collaborate with terrorists in executing their plans. Defendant Marquez’s extensive plotting with Syed Rizwan Farook in 2011 and 2012, and his purchase of explosive powder and two firearms, provided the foundation for the murders that occurred this month.”
Enrique Marquez is currently held without bail. If he’s convicted on all charges and gets the maximum sentence, he faces up to 50 years in prison.
As of this writing, no trial date for Enrique Marquez has been set.
[AP Photo/Bill Robles]