Arizona Man Indicted After Planning Mass Shooting at Atlanta Concert

Arizona Man Indicted After Planning Mass Shooting at Atlanta Concert

Lifestyle

An Arizona man was indicted on federal weapons charges after being arrested as part of a sting operation that involved a planned hate crime-related mass shooting at an Atlanta concert.

Mark Adams Prieto, 58, was charged with Firearms Trafficking, Transfer of a Firearm for Use in a Hate Crime, and Possession of an Unregistered Firearm nearly a month after his May 14 arrest, when he was pulled over in New Mexico while driving from his native Arizona to Florida while in possession of seven firearms.

Those weapons, the Department of Justice claims, were part of a six-month operation, during which “Prieto had discussions with two individuals working with the Federal Bureau of Investigation to devise a plan to commit a mass shooting of African Americans and other minorities to incite a race war prior to the 2024 United States Presidential Election,” the DOJ said in a press release.

Prieto — who was a vendor at an Arizona-based gun show and whose previous remarks about race wars and mass shootings first brought him to the FBI’s attention in October 2023 — had allegedly targeted a concert in Atlanta that was going to be held on May 14 and May 15, 2024 at State Farm Arena for the mass shooting he was supplying weapons for, an FBI Phoenix Field Office spokesperson said.

While the Department of Justice did not specify which concert Prieto was allegedly targeting, among the notable shows on those two nights in Atlanta were a pair of concerts by Bad Bunny, scheduled for the city’s State Farm Arena on May 14 and 15.

According to the indictment (via WSB-TV Atlanta), Prieto admitted to undercover agents, “The reason I say Atlanta. Why, why is Georgia such a [expletive]-up state now? When I was a kid that was one of the most conservative states in the country. Why is it not now? Because as the crime got worse in L.A., St. Louis, and all these other cities, all the [expletives] moved out of those (places) and moved to Atlanta. That’s why it isn’t so great anymore. And they’ve been there for a couple, several years.” He added that “there would be a high concentration of African Americans” at the targeted concert.

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Earlier this year, Prieto sold a pair of AK-style rifles to one of the undercover agents as part of the plan. However, while Prieto was arrested on May 14 — the day of the concert — the indictment states that plans for the mass shooting were later pushed to June.

If convicted, Prieto is facing between 10 to 15 years on each of the weapons charges. No trial date has been set yet.

Read original source here.

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