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Arizona man arrested for alleged plot to incite race war at Bad Bunny concert

Saturday, June 15th 2024 - 00:21 UTC
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Prieto disclosed his plans to an undercover FBI agent and an informant, detailing a scheme to target “blacks, Jews, or Muslims” at a concert by Puerto Rican reggaeton artist Bad Bunny Prieto disclosed his plans to an undercover FBI agent and an informant, detailing a scheme to target “blacks, Jews, or Muslims” at a concert by Puerto Rican reggaeton artist Bad Bunny

Mark Adams Prieto, a 58-year-old resident of Prescott, Arizona, was arrested last month on federal charges related to an alleged plot to carry out a mass shooting at a Puerto Rican rapper Bad Bunny concert in Atlanta, Georgia. Prieto, who reportedly aimed to incite a race war, was indicted by a federal grand jury on charges of firearms trafficking, transferring firearms to commit hate crimes, and possession of unregistered weapons

According to the Justice Department, Prieto disclosed his plans to an undercover FBI agent and an informant, detailing a scheme to target “blacks, Jews, or Muslims” at a concert by Puerto Rican reggaeton artist Bad Bunny. The indictment reveals that Prieto's conversations with the FBI collaborators spanned from January to May this year, during which he outlined his intention to provoke a race war before the 2024 presidential election, anticipating that martial law would be declared after the vote.

The FBI's complaint states that Prieto, a gun show salesman, met the undercover agent and the informant at the Crossroads of the West gun show in Arizona. During their interactions, Prieto identified a rap concert scheduled for May 14 and 15 in Atlanta as his target. These dates coincided with Bad Bunny's “Most Wanted Tour” performances in the city. Prieto chose this event specifically because of the expected large African-American audience.

Prieto's plan was meticulously detailed. He intended to use two semi-automatic rifles, a bolt-action sniper rifle, and smoke grenades to maximize chaos and casualties. He suggested that they travel to Atlanta in advance to store the weapons near the concert venue. “We have to round them up. And some of them may try to get out around a corner, and those we have to pound them,” Prieto allegedly said, as per the FBI's statement. He also sold the undercover agent an AR-15 rifle for $2,000 cash to be used in the attack.

Prieto was arrested on May 14 in New Mexico while driving east. At the time of his arrest, he was carrying seven firearms. Authorities later discovered additional weapons at his Prescott residence, including an unregistered short-barreled rifle. Prieto admitted to knowing the informant and the undercover agent and acknowledged discussing plans for an attack. However, he claimed he had no intention of following through and was en route to Florida to visit his mother.

If convicted of trafficking in firearms and transferring a firearm for use in a hate crime, Prieto faces up to 15 years in prison, a $250,000 fine, or both. Possession of an unregistered firearm carries a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison.

This arrest highlights the ongoing issue of gun violence in the United States. According to Gun Violence Archive, there have been at least 214 mass shootings in the U.S. this year, defined as incidents where four or more victims, excluding the shooter, are injured or killed.

Categories: Politics, United States.

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