RIVERSIDE, Calif. (AP) — Over 10 days of interviews with the FBI, the man accused of buying the assault rifles used in the San Bernardino attack provided a lot more than prosecutors needed to charge him with weapons violations.
Enrique Marquez Jr. also revealed plots he and his friend, Syed Rizwan Farook, discussed but never carried out to slaughter students at a community college and murder motorists on a congested freeway.
Marquez’s alleged admissions have him facing charges of conspiring to provide material support to terrorists when he’s arraigned Wednesday in Riverside federal court.
Marquez, 24, has said little during two previous court appearances and has yet to enter a plea to counts that could send him to prison for as long as 50 years if he’s convicted of five counts in a federal indictment.
The Dec. 30 indictment adds to charges he originally faced when arrested two weeks after the Dec. 2 shootings carried out by Farook and his wife, Tashfeen Malik, at a building where Farook’s colleagues from the San Bernardino county health department were meeting.
The couple killed 14 people and injured 22 others before being killed hours later in a dramatic shootout with police.
Authorities said Marquez was not involved in the killings, but that his failure to warn authorities about Farook and his purchase of the guns had deadly consequences.
Marquez and Farook were friends who grew up next door to each other in Riverside. Farook, 28, introduced Marquez to Islam as a teenager a decade ago and indoctrinated him in violent extremism, according to the FBI.
Marquez bought two rifles for Farook in 2011 and 2012 and the two planned to launch bomb and shooting attacks at Riverside City College, where they attended classes, and a notoriously gridlocked section of highway without exits.
Marquez faces two firearms violations for being the so-called straw buyer who purchased the guns in his name because Farook, who was born in the U.S. to Pakistani immigrants, “looked Middle Eastern,” authorities said.
He also faces charges of marriage fraud and lying on immigration paperwork for a sham wedding to a Russian woman whose sister is married to Farook’s brother.
The FBI said Marquez admitted he was paid $200 to marry the woman and he lied on immigration papers that he lived with her so she could stay in the U.S.
A lawyer for Marquez argued unsuccessfully that his client should be released on bond because he had willingly spoken with the FBI while he was not in custody and never fled.
Public defender Young Kim also said that Marquez had never carried out the attacks he and Farook plotted and that he wasn’t involved in the December shootings.
Kim has since filed paperwork in court to prevent investigators from speaking with Marquez without his lawyer present