Bought two killers’ ri­fles, man ad­mits

Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette - - NATIONAL -

RIVERSIDE, Calif. — En­rique Mar­quez Jr., 25, pleaded guilty in fed­eral court to buy­ing the ri­fles used in the San Bernardino, Calif., ter­ror at­tack in De­cem­ber 2015.

Mar­quez is the only per­son crim­i­nally charged in the at­tack that killed 14 peo­ple and wounded 22 oth­ers at a meet­ing of San Bernardino County em­ploy­ees. Hus­band-and-wife as­sailants Syed Rizwan Fa­rook and Tash­feen Ma­lik were killed in a shootout with au­thor­i­ties later that day. Mar­quez is to be sen­tenced by U.S. Dis­trict Judge Je­sus Ber­nal on Aug. 21 and faces up to 25 years in prison un­der a plea deal.

In ad­di­tion to pur­chas­ing the weapons, Mar­quez pleaded guilty to con­spir­ing with Fa­rook to draft ear­lier mass killing plots tar­get­ing a com­mu­nity col­lege and a South­ern Cal­i­for­nia free­way. Au­thor­i­ties said the pair re­searched bomb-mak­ing and bought ma­te­ri­als to make ex­plo­sives, but never car­ried out those at­tacks.

U.S. at­tor­ney Eileen Decker said there is no ev­i­dence that Mar­quez had ad­vance knowl­edge of the San Bernardino killings. Pros­e­cu­tors said Mar­quez ac­knowl­edged be­ing a “straw buyer” when he pur­chased two AR-15 ri­fles used in the mas­sacre.

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