Trial delayed for Enrique Marquez Jr., accused of supplying 2 guns in San Bernardino attack
The trial for Enrique Marquez Jr., the man accused of supplying two rifles used to kill 14 people in the San Bernardino terror attack, has been pushed back until this summer.
Marquez had been scheduled to go on trial on Feb. 23, but U.S. District Judge Jesus Bernal this week approved the postponement at the request of both prosecutors and defense attorneys, according to court papers.
On Dec. 2, Marquez was working when Syed Rizwan Farook and his wife, Tashfeen Malik, stormed into the Inland Regional Center and carried out the deadliest terrorist attack on U.S. soil since Sept. 11, 2011.
But prosecutors have alleged that he and Farook plotted in 2011 and 2012 to carry out attacks at Riverside City College and on the 91 Freeway. Marquez is also accused of committing marriage fraud and making false statements in connection with his weapons purchases.
Federal prosecutors and Marquez’s defense attorneys sought to postpone the trial until July 19, citing work on other cases and the “voluminous” evidence.
The request to postpone the trial, filed Jan. 29, said the case is “so unusual and so complex that it is unreasonable to expect adequate preparation” for a trial in late February.
The case features a large body of evidence, including thousands of pages of investigative reports and more than 500 hours of audio and video recordings, the lawyers wrote in court papers.
According to a complaint filed by prosecutors, Marquez bought two rifles for Farook as they prepared to carry out possible attacks in 2011 and 2012.
For about $740, Marquez bought a Smith & Wesson rifle, and months later purchased a second rifle for about $760, according to the complaint.
Prosecutors allege that when purchasing the guns, Marquez said he was the buyer of the guns and thus concealed the fact that the guns were actually for Farook, according to the complaint.
Marquez, who met Farook about a decade ago when they were neighbors in Riverside, also allegedly purchased smokeless powder used in pipe bombs that were left in the conference room where the Dec. 2 attack occurred, according to court papers. The explosives never detonated.
In the months leading up to the San Bernardino attack, Marquez had told friends he planned to join the U.S. military. He told investigators that he had abandoned the terror plot with Farook and distanced himself from his former neighbor sometime in 2012.
The marriage fraud charge stems from his 2014 nuptials to Mariya Chernykh, a Russian national whose sister is married to Farook’s older brother.
Marquez said in immigration papers that the two lived together, but records show Chernykh lived in Ontario while he lived in Corona. He also told authorities that he received payment to marry Chernykh.
He has pleaded not guilty to the charges filed against him. If convicted of all counts, Marquez faces up to 50 years in prison.
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