Sentencing for Terror Attack Facilitator: 'He Knew Better'

Enrique Marquez gets 20 years in prison for his role in 2015 San Bernardino attack that killed 14
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 24, 2020 8:15 AM CDT
Man Who Gave Guns to San Bernardino Shooter Gets 20 Years
This Dec. 17, 2015, file courtroom sketch shows Enrique Marquez Jr. in federal court in Riverside, Calif.   (Bill Robles via AP, File)

The California man who provided the guns used in the 2015 San Bernardino mass shooting has found out his fate. The San Bernardino Sun reports that 28-year-old Enrique Marquez—who was convicted of conspiracy to provide material support to terrorists and making a false statement on federal firearms-purchase forms—was sentenced Friday to 20 years in prison for his role in the December 2015 shooting that left 14 dead and nearly two dozen wounded. The two perpetrators, Syed Rizwan Farook and his wife, Tashfeen Malik, were killed in a police shootout shortly after the attack. Marquez, who pleaded guilty to the charges against him three years ago, had said on gun purchase paperwork in 2011 and 2012 he was buying guns for his own use, but instead he sold them to Farook, a neighbor he'd been plotting with to carry out attacks at a local freeway and college; that plan was eventually nixed.

Prosecutors had wanted 25 years for Marquez, saying that despite his claims of having a mental illness, he was highly intelligent and was aware of what he was doing. "His IQ is probably higher than anybody's in the courtroom," Assistant US Attorney Melanie Sartoris said Friday. "He knew better." Marquez's defense team, meanwhile, had hoped for a five-year sentence, arguing he'd sold his assault-style rifles to Farook "to shoot, not to shoot people," and that the previous aborted attack plan was just a vague hypothetical. The AP notes Marquez seemed emotionless as his sentence was handed down Friday. "He's a terrorist," the father of one of the victims told the judge. "And if you let him out, he's going to do it again." The five years Marquez has already spent in prison will count toward his sentence. (More San Bernardino shooting stories.)

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