Federal charges were filed today against Enrique Marquez, the man authorities allege purchased the two assault rifles that were used on Dec. 2 to massacre 14 people attending a holiday party in San Bernardino, California.
PEOPLE can confirm Marquez was charged with the unlawful purchase of two assault rifles used in the deadly shootings and with conspiring with Syed Rizwan Farook in 2011 and 2012 to commit crimes of terrorism.
Police officials contend that Marquez was a childhood friend of Farook who lived next to the 28-year-old man and his wife, 27-year-old Tashfeen Malik.
Marquez, 24, allegedly purchased the two weapons for Farook, who did not think he would pass a background check, authorities explain.
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Detectives allege that Marquez has been cooperating with their investigation, and informed them that he and Farook had even plotted a terror attack in 2012, but decided against carrying it out.
A three-count criminal complaint filed this afternoon also charged Marquez with defrauding immigration authorities by allegedly entering into a ‘sham marriage’ with a member of Farook s family.
“Mr. Marquez conspired with Mr. Farook to commit vicious attacks, as set forth in today s charges,” said United States Attorney Eileen M. Decker, Thursday.
“Even though these plans were not carried out, Mr. Marquez s criminal conduct deeply affected San Bernardino County, Southern California and the entire United States when the guns purchased by Marquez were used to kill 14 innocent people and wound many others.”
Farook and his wife fired off more than 150 rounds the day of the shooting, which left 21 others wounded. Both were killed hours later during an exchange with police.
Decker added: “While there currently is no evidence that Mr. Marquez participated in the December 2 attack or had advance knowledge of it, his prior purchase of the firearms and ongoing failure to warn authorities about Farook s intent to commit mass murder had fatal consequences. Today s charges are the result of exceptional work by many prosecutors and law enforcement agencies, and I thank them for their tremendous effort so far in this case.
Authorities claim the couple had purchased thousands of bullets as well as materials for bomb fabrication.
An explosive device that the pair left behind at the scene of the San Bernardino shooting spree failed to detonate.