RIVERSIDE (CBSLA.com) — A Riverside man accused of buying rifles and explosive materials used in the San Bernardino mass killing Dec. 2 has been denied bail.
Enrique Marquez Jr. appeared in court Monday before U.S. District Judge David Bristow, who heard arguments on whether the court should allow the defendant’s family to use the equity of their home to post bail for him.
Attorneys for the 24-year-old argued their client doesn’t have a criminal history or a United States passport therefore he is not a flight risk.
“Even if he didn’t do anything active, he formed the ideas,” Assistant U.S. Attorney Chris Grigg told the court. He argued that Marquez had a “strong incentive to flee.”
The judge sided with the prosecution and said: “I believe he continues to pose a danger to the community, notwithstanding the fact that his co-conspirator is deceased.”
But Deputy Federal Public Defender Young Kim countered that his client “could have left (the country) but didn’t.”
Marquez is charged with three felonies for his ties to Syed Farook, one of two shooters in the massacre at the Inland Regional Center on Dec. 2.
Federal authorities allege that in 2011 and 2012, Marquez purchased the two illegally modified AR-15-style rifles used in the massacre.
Tanya Kelly of Riverside was a spectator in the courtroom. She said she wanted to go see Marquez in person. “Eerie. It was surreal-like.”
A preliminary hearing is tentatively scheduled for Jan. 4.
According to court papers, he and Farook plotted in 2011 to carry out attacks at Riverside City College and the Riverside (91) Freeway.
According to prosecutors, Marquez moved to Riverside and met Farook, his next-door neighbor, in 2005. Under Farook’s sway, Marquez converted to Islam in 2007, after which he adopted a radical philosophy, and by late 2011, the pair was preparing to carry out terror attacks, prosecutors said.
According to the U.S. Attorney’s Office, Marquez admitted making plans with Farook to commit mass murder at the library or cafeteria of RCC, where both attended. They allegedly planned to throw pipe bombs into the cafeteria from a second floor terrace then open fire on people as they tried to run.
The pair also schemed to go on a killing spree on the eastbound Riverside (91) Freeway during afternoon rush-hour. Investigators claimed Farook intended to toss pipe bombs onto the road to halt traffic, providing sitting targets, while Marquez watched from a high perch, shooting at first responders as they arrived.
The defendant apparently backed out of their terror plots after the arrests in 2012 of four men who were trying to join the Taliban in Afghanistan. Two of the four — Ralph Kenneth DeLeon and Sohiel Omar Kabir — were convicted in 2014 of conspiring to kill American troops overseas.
The other two defendants, Miguel Alejandro Santana Vidriales and Arifeen David Gojali, pleaded guilty to conspiracy charges. All were sentenced to between 10 and 25 years in federal prison earlier this year by U.S. District Judge Virginia Phillips in Riverside.
Farook, 28, and his wife, Tashfeen Malik, 27, were killed in a gunbattle within several hours after the massacre that left 14 dead and 22 others wounded.
Farook brought Malik to the United States in 2014 on a fiance visa. FBI Director James Comey said the couple had been “radicalized” long before the shooting, even prior to being married.
Farook worked for the San Bernardino County Public Health Department. He attended a department holiday party at the IRC the morning of the massacre before carrying out the terror attack with his wife.
A Facebook account associated with Malik was used to search for materials related to the ISIS terrorist group.
Marquez also faces immigration fraud charges for his alleged “sham” marriage to a member of Farook’s extended family, permitting her to obtain U.S. residency, for which Marquez was paid $200 a month.