Arizona man charged with selling guns for use in mass shooting

Jun 12, 2024, 4:25 AM

An image of a jury box to illustrate a story on a grand jury charging. (Pixabay Photo)...

An image of a jury box to illustrate a story on a grand jury charging. (Pixabay Photo)

(Pixabay Photo)

PHOENIX – A local man was indicted by a federal grand jury on Tuesday on charges of allegedly selling guns to be used in a mass shooting.

Mark Prieto, 58, of Prescott allegedly held discussions with two individuals working with the FBI to come up with a plan to commit a mass shooting of African Americans and other minorities to encourage a race war before the 2024 election.

According to a statement released from the U.S. Attorney’s Office, Prieto did not know the individuals worked for the FBI and thought they shared his views and also wanted to commit a mass shooting to stir up a race war.

Prieto planned on the mass shooting taking place at a concert in Atlanta that was scheduled for May 14-15.

According to the indictment, Prieto allegedly sold two firearms to one of the individuals, an AK-style rifle on February 25 and an AR-style rifle on March 24.

After the sale, the FBI monitored Prieto’s location while an investigation took place. On May 14, Prieto was eventually stopped by police while driving from Arizona through New Mexico on Interstate 40. Officials said Prieto had seven firearms with him while making the trip.

Prieto was subsequently taken into federal custody and after law enforcement obtained a search warrant, they found more firearms at his home in Prescott, including an unregistered short-barreled rifle.

Prieto faces up to 15 years in prison, a fine of $250,000, or both for Firearms Trafficking and Transfer of Firearm for Use in a Hate Crime. He could also face an additional 10 years in prison, another fine of $250,000, or both for Possession of an Unregistered Firearm.

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Arizona man charged with selling guns for use in mass shooting