Enrique Marquez, a friend of San Bernardino terrorists, Syed Rizwan Farook, pled guilty to illegally purchasing the weapons used in the December 2, 2015, attack at the Inland Regional Center by Farook and his wife Tashfeen Malik.
Court documents revealed how Marquez acted as a straw buyer and purchased two AR-15 rifles for Farook—the rifles he ultimately used to massacre his co-workers in the Environmental Health Services Division in San Bernardino during a combined training/Christmas celebration. According to prosecutors, Marquez agreed to purchase the rifles because the two were concerned Farook’s appearance might trigger suspicion.
Marquez also pled guilty to helping Farook plan attacks on the 91 Freeway and Riverside City College—plans that never came to fruition.
A resident of Riverside, the 25-year-old was the only suspect charged in the terror attack that left 14 people dead and 22 others injured.
Marquez formally entered his plea in Riverside’s U.S. District Court last Thursday to the consternation of some who believe the plea deal was not insufficient. Gregory Clayborn, who lost his daughter Sierra in the attack, called the deal no less than a “slap on the wrist” and hardly equivalent justice when considered in light of the pain and suffering experienced by those whose loved ones were so abruptly taken that tragic day.
When acknowledging the sentiments of Clayborn and others, U.S. Attorney Eileen M. Decker explained how although she understood their frustration with the court’s decision, she is bound by the law and the plea deal was offered because there is no evidence Marquez either participated in or had advance knowledge of the attack.
Marquez met Farook when he moved next door to his family in 2005. He confirmed that he converted to Islam in 2007; and admitted he and Farook began exploring extremist ideology soon after.
Marquez will be sentenced on August 21.