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New unsealed court documents have revealed that a grand jury has indicted a man from Arizona for selling guns with the goal of inciting a race war ahead of the 2024 presidential election.

Mark Adams Prieto, a 58-year-old resident of Prescott, Arizona, faces charges of firearms trafficking, transfer of a firearm for use in a hate crime, and possession of an unregistered firearm. Authorities allege that Prieto conspired to orchestrate a mass shooting targeting African Americans and other minorities at a concert at Atlanta’s State Farm Arena.

Mark Prieto

The investigation, which began in January 2024, involved Prieto unknowingly discussing his plans with two individuals working undercover for the FBI. These discussions detailed a plot to attack a rap concert in Atlanta, chosen for its significant Black population. Prieto reportedly planned to leave Confederate flags at the scene and shout racist slogans to incite further racial tensions. He also sold rifles to one of the undercover operatives during the investigation.

On May 14, Prieto was apprehended by law enforcement on a New Mexico interstate with seven firearms in his possession. A subsequent search of his home uncovered additional firearms, including an unregistered short-barreled rifle. During questioning, Prieto admitted to discussing an attack but claimed he was en route to visit his mother in Florida, not Atlanta. He also confessed to selling an AR-15 to an undercover FBI agent, acknowledging it as a suitable weapon for the planned attack.

If convicted, Prieto could face significant prison time and hefty fines. Each charge of firearms trafficking and transfer of a firearm for use in a hate crime carries a potential 15-year sentence and a $250,000 fine. Possessing an unregistered firearm carries a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison and a similar fine.


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