- The Washington Times - Wednesday, January 6, 2016

The man accused of buying the rifles used in the San Bernardino, California, terror attack as part of a plot years earlier to carry out a mass shooting of his own pleaded not guilty Wednesday to the related charges.

Enrique Marquez, who prosecutors say purchased two of the guns used by Syed Rizwan Farook and his wife Tashfeen Malik in the Dec. 2 mass shooting, faces charges of making false statements when he purchased the two rifles, conspiracy to provide material support to terrorists, and an unrelated charge of immigration and visa fraud for entering into a sham marriage with a Russian woman. He entered a not-guilty plea to all of the charges included in the five-count indictment.

Mr. Marquez faces up to 50 years in prison if he is convicted.

Previously, Mr. Marquez told investigators that the firearms were purchased years earlier when he and Farook were close friends and had been involved in discussions about carrying out a mass shooting. According to the FBI, the two had researched making bombs and bought the firearms in preparation to kill students at the community college they both attended or to kill motorists on a busy freeway.

Mr. Marquez is accused of acting as a straw purchaser of the guns used in the attack, and according to prosecutors he agreed to purchase the firearms because he believed his Caucasian appearance would draw less scrutiny than Farook, a U.S. citizen of Pakistani heritage.

According to The Associated Press, Mr. Marquez’s public defender Young Kim previously argued unsuccessfully to get authorities to release his client from custody ahead of the hearing, noting that his client had never carried out the attacks he and Farook plotted and that he was not involved in the December shootings.

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