Enrique Marquez Jr., a key player in the San Bernardino, California, terrorist attack that left 14 people dead and 22 wounded in 2015, has been sentenced to 20 years in federal prison, according to information released by the Department of Justice on Friday.
Marquez, 28, was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Jesus Bernal for a series of charges, including conspiring to commit terrorist attacks in the Inland Empire and for providing assault rifles that would later be used in the San Bernardino attack, the Associated Press reported.
Marquez pleaded guilty to those charges in 2017, and, as part of a plea agreement, also pleaded guilty to conspiring with Syed Rizwan Farook back in 2011 and 2012 to attack Riverside City College and commuter traffic on the 91 Freeway.
According to the DOJ, Marquez served as a “straw buyer” of two assault rifles. Farook then paid Marquez for the rifles that he and his wife would use three years later in their attack on San Bernardino Inland Regional Center, CBS News reported.
The DOJ also found that Marquez and Farook discussed using “radio-controlled improvised explosive devices” in the planned attacks on Riverside City College and State Route 91.
Marquez even admitted to purchasing some of the materials needed to make such a deadly device.
Prosecutors argued that Marquez should receive 25 years in prison, as he was “a full, willing, and motivated participant of the conspiracy who not only provided the agreement necessary for the conspiracy to attack RCC and SR-91, but also co-designed the attacks with Farook,” the Associated Press reported.
Marquez has been in custody since his arrest in December 2015, about two weeks after the San Bernardino terrorist attack.
He was the only suspect to survive as both Farook and Marquez’s wife were killed in a gun battle with law enforcement.
Marquez’s attorney, before Friday’s sentencing, had made a request for a 5-year-sentence, which would have essentially led to his release. But that request was denied with prosecutors arguing that it was an attempt to “downplay the seriousness of his actions, and skirt that his actions contributed to the mass killing and injuring of innocent people in San Bernardino just a few years later.”
The investigation into Marquez has led to the discovery of other crimes, according to the DOJ. This includes a “sham marriage scheme in which a Russian woman ‘married’ Marquez to obtain immigration benefits,” as well as Farook’s mother who pleaded guilty to destroying a map made by her son in connection with his attacks.
Prosecutors dropped the immigration-fraud charge against Marquez as part of his plea deal, The Sun reported.