17.5 C
Houston
Tuesday, November 24, 2020

Man Gets 20 Years for Buying Guns Used in 2015 San Bernardino Terrorist Attack

RIVERSIDE, Calif.—The man who bought two rifles that husband-and-wife assailants used to kill 14 people in a Southern California terror attack nearly five years ago was sentenced Friday to 20 years in prison.

Enrique Marquez Jr. supplied the weapons that Syed Rizwan Farook and Farook’s wife, Tashfeen Malik, used on Dec. 2, 2015, to open fire on a meeting and holiday gathering of San Bernardino County employees who worked with Farook. Minutes later, a post on a Facebook page associated with Malik pledged allegiance to the leader of the ISIS terrorist group. The couple fled and died later that day in a gunbattle with authorities.

Marquez, 28, showed no emotion during a federal court hearing as relatives of the victims asked the judge to give him a lengthy sentence for providing Farook the guns years before the shooting, which at the time was the deadliest terror attack in the United States since 9/11.

Enrique Marquez Jr, in federal court in Riverside, Calif., Dec. 17, 2015. (Courtroom sketch/Bill Robles via AP)

Gregory Clayborn, whose daughter Sierra was killed, said Marquez should be held responsible for the massacre though he wasn’t the gunman.

“He’s a terrorist, your honor,” Clayborn told the judge. “And if you let him out, he’s going to do it again.”

Prosecutors sought a 25-year sentence for Marquez, arguing that he gave semiautomatic weapons and explosives to Farook though he knew Farook was inspired by violent extremists and had plotted with him years earlier to kill large numbers of people in attacks on a highway and college campus.

farook and tashfeen
Syed Rizwan Farook (L) and wife Tashfeen Malik. (FBI via Getty Images)

At the hearing, federal prosecutor Melanie Sartoris said Marquez has a high IQ and the mental capacity to understand the likelihood of an attack once he had bought the weapons.

“He knew all along that this would happen,” but he did nothing, she said.

The defense had asked for a five-year term. Marquez’s attorney, John Aquilina, said his client had been manipulated by Farook since he was 13, when they met as neighbors.

Marquez was desperate to socialize with others and needed to escape abuse at home. He had stopped speaking to Farook years before the attack and didn’t know it was going to happen, Aquilina said.

“Mr. Marquez’s sentence should not be reflective of what happened in San Bernardino,” he said.

In determining the sentence, U.S. District Judge Jesus Bernal said he took into account that Marquez had called 911 and cooperated with authorities.

“In a legal sense, I cannot punish Mr. Marquez for your loss,” Bernal told the families in his courtroom. “He is not responsible for the murders.”

Hilario Venoya Jr., whose son was shot twice and survived, said he wished Marquez received a longer sentence. His son didn’t attend the hearing because he is trying to move on.

“He’ll never be the same,” Venoya said.

Marquez and his family moved next door to Farook’s family in 2005. Authorities said that by 2011, Marquez was spending time at Farook’s house, watching videos involving what they said was “radical Islamic content.’”

Several years before the shooting, authorities said Marquez and Farook plotted terrorist attacks on Riverside City College and a highway, State Route 91.

But Marquez abandoned the idea and distanced himself from Farook in 2012 after three other Southern California men were arrested on suspicion of planning to go to Afghanistan to kill U.S. troops. Eventually, the three and a fourth man were sentenced to federal prison for conspiracy.

Farook met Malik, who lived in Pakistan, online. She traveled to the United States to marry Farook in 2014.

tashfeen malik syed farook
This July 27, 2014 file photo provided by U.S. Customs and Border Protection shows Tashfeen Malik, left, and Syed Farook, as they passed through O’Hare International Airport in Chicago. (U.S. Customs and Border Protection via AP, File)

To carry out the shooting, the couple left their 6-month-old daughter with Farook’s mother, saying they were going to a doctor’s appointment. Afterward, police chased the pair through San Bernardino, which is 60 miles (97 kilometers) east of Los Angeles. Soon after they were killed, Marquez called 911 to say the shooter was his neighbor and had used his gun.

The next day, Marquez went to a hospital emergency room and was placed in a psychiatric ward. He was later arrested, and in FBI interviews, described his research into terror attacks, purchase of explosives and the plans he had made with Farook, according to U.S. authorities.

Marquez pleaded guilty in 2017 to conspiring with Farook to provide material support to terrorists and making false statements regarding the rifles he had purchased in his name using Farook’s money. He later tried to withdraw his plea to one of the counts, but the request was denied by the court.

By Stefanie Dazio

Theepochtimes

Latest news

“We will be watching” – Newt Gingrich warns Gov Kemp to audit absentee ballot envelopes and fix loopholes before Dems steal Senate seats

Newt Gingrich called out Georgia’s Governor Kemp this afternoon for not pushing his state to do an audit of absentee ballot signatures during the...

US Attorney Gives Antifa Pass On Rand Paul Attack After Refusing To Investigate

The US Attorney's Office for the District of Columbia has declined to investigate who is funding the 'thugs' who attacked him on video following...

Republicans hope Trump’s future ambitions will guide how he handles 2020 race ending

As President Trump’s legal options for contesting the presidential race dwindle, Republicans are hopeful...

Bitcoin’s Gut Check: The Time Of Crisis As The Moment Of Truth

Authored by Marc Bernegger via CoinTelegraph.com,If Bitcoin weathers the current financial storm, our monetary system will be on the brink of dramatic changes or...

Related news

“We will be watching” – Newt Gingrich warns Gov Kemp to audit absentee ballot envelopes and fix loopholes before Dems steal Senate seats

Newt Gingrich called out Georgia’s Governor Kemp this afternoon for not pushing his state to do an audit of absentee ballot signatures during the...

US Attorney Gives Antifa Pass On Rand Paul Attack After Refusing To Investigate

The US Attorney's Office for the District of Columbia has declined to investigate who is funding the 'thugs' who attacked him on video following...

Republicans hope Trump’s future ambitions will guide how he handles 2020 race ending

As President Trump’s legal options for contesting the presidential race dwindle, Republicans are hopeful...

Bitcoin’s Gut Check: The Time Of Crisis As The Moment Of Truth

Authored by Marc Bernegger via CoinTelegraph.com,If Bitcoin weathers the current financial storm, our monetary system will be on the brink of dramatic changes or...

More promising news about coronavirus vaccines as officials look to distribution

AstraZeneca, along with the University of Oxford, is the third major drugmaker in...

BREAKING: GSA says Biden transition can begin and Trump endorses it!

The GSA has just announced that the Biden transition can begin as he is the ‘apparent winner’ of the election: BALTIMORE SUN – The General...

British author Douglas Murray issues urgent warning to Americans: ‘DON’T be a silent majority’

One of the most shocking things British journalist, political commentator, and author of "The Madness of Crowds," Douglas Murray witnessed during his recent stay...

Trump Tells GSA To Allow Biden Transition To Proceed “In The Best Interest Of Our Country”

In what is the closest words yet to a concession, President Trump has agree to let GSA proceed with the Biden administration transition. In...