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San Bernardino Shooting: Enrique Marquez Could Face Charge of Conspiracy to Commit Act of Terrorism, Experts Say

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Enrique Marquez, friend of San Bernardino shooter Syed Farook, happened to speak to KTLA for an unrelated story on April 2, 2015. (Credit: KTLA)

Enrique Marquez, who allegedly purchased the assault rifles used in the San Bernardino mass shooting, could face a variety of charges, including lying on his application to buy the guns and conspiracy to commit an act of terrorism, legal experts said.

Marquez, 24, legally purchased the rifles from an authorized gun dealer in 2011 and 2012, but there was no record of any transfer of the weapons from him to Syed Rizwan Farook or Farook’s wife, Tashfeen Malik, according to federal sources familiar with the ongoing investigation who spoke on condition of anonymity. Farook and Malik killed 14 people and wounded many others during a Dec. 2 attack on a social services office.

Marquez told officials that Farook asked him to purchase the guns because Farook feared he would not pass a background check, another government source said. That source said Marquez also divulged that Farook was planning a different attack in 2011 or 2012 but later abandoned it.

If Marquez knowingly bought the guns for Farook to use in an earlier attack, he could be charged with conspiracy to commit a terrorist act or conspiracy to commit murder, lawyers said. Either offense carries a potential life sentence.

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