US man jailed for supplying guns used in San Bernardino shootings

Published2 hours ago

image captionThe remains of a SUV involved in the Wednesdays attack is shown in San Bernardino, California December 3, 2015

A US man has been sentenced to 20 years in jail for buying guns for a married couple who carried out a mass shooting in California in 2015.

Enrique Marquez Jr, 28, was found guilty of supplying the weapons to Syed Rizwan Farook and Tashfeen Malik.

The pair fired on a group of people in San Bernardino whom Farook worked with, as they gathered for a Christmas party.

After killing 14 people and wounding 22 others, Farook and Malik died during a shootout with authorities.

Marquez, who authorities said had been exposed to radical Islam by Farook, bought the weapons in 2011 and 2012 and said on a purchase application form that they were for his own use.

Prosecutors argued that Marquez had a high IQ and the mental capacity to understand what the guns would be used for.

An undated handout picture made available by the San Bernardino County Sheriff on 03 December 2015 shows weapons carried by suspects involved in a mass shooting, at the scene of a shooting with an officer, in San Bernardino, California, USA
image captionOfficers recovered several semi-automatic weapons from the scene of the shooting

They said several years before the San Bernardino shooting, Marquez and Farook, 28, plotted to attack a local community college and traffic on a highway. But Marquez abandoned the idea in 2012 and distanced himself from Farook after three men in California were arrested for planning to travel to Afghanistan to kill US troops.

Marquez’s defence lawyer argued that Farook had manipulated him since him was aged 13, when they met as neighbours. He added that Marquez had no knowledge of what the weapons would be used for.

Tashfeen Malik and Syed Rizwan Farook
image captionAttackers Tashfeen Malik and Syed Rizwan Farook died during a shootout with authorities

Marquez pleaded guilty in 2017 to providing material support to terrorists and making false statements regarding the rifles, which he bought with money from Farook.

But his sentencing has been delayed after he unsuccessfully tried to withdraw his plea to one of the counts.

As a result of investigations into the shooting, three people have pleaded guilty to being part of a sham marriage scheme, in which a Russian woman pretended to marry Marquez to obtain immigration benefits.

Syed Raheel Farook, the brother of Syed Rizwan Farook, Tatiana Farook, Syed Raheel Farook’s wife, and Mariya Chernykh, Tatiana Farook’s sister, are scheduled to be sentenced next year.

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