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Thursday, May 23, 2024 | Back issues
Courthouse News Service Courthouse News Service

Trio tied to San Bernardino shooters arrested, two released

(CN) — Three people with ties to San Bernardino shooter Sayed Rizwan Farook were arrested Thursday on marriage fraud conspiracy charges, and after arraignment on Thursday afternoon, two were released on bail.
A federal judge ordered the release of the married couple Tatiana and Syed Farook on bail, while a third defendant still had still not entered a plea late Thursday afternoon.
The judge he did not believe the pair were a danger to the community or a flight risk. Bail for Syed Farook was set at $25,000, while bail for Tatiana Farook was set at $35,000. Farook's mother is acting as surety to both and was in court.
Syed Farook wiped tears from his face before the hearing began. In contrast his wife Tatiana appeared calm and unfazed.
Federal law enforcement agencies served search warrants at two Southern California locations in connection with the December attacks that left 14 people dead and 22 wounded.
According to United States Attorney Eileen Decker, a federal grand jury returned a five-count indictment against Syed and Tatiana Farook, and Mariya Chernykh on Thursday.
All three have been charged with participating in a marriage fraud conspiracy that involved making false statements under oath for the purpose of obtaining immigration benefits for one of the defendants.
Farook is gunman Syed Farook's brother.
The indictment charges all three defendants in a conspiracy to knowingly make under oath a false statement with respect to a material fact in an application, affidavit, and other document required by the immigration laws and regulations of the United States.
This charge carries a statutory maximum sentence of five years in federal prison.
The indictment also charges Chernykh with fraud and misuse of visas, permits, and other documents; perjury; and two counts of making material false statements to federal agents. These four charges carry a combined statutory maximum sentence of 25 years in federal prison.
Farook and his wife and accomplice, Tashfeen Malik, died after a gunfight with police.
In late December, Enrique Marquez Jr., a friend of Sayed Farook, was arrested on charges related to the San Bernardino attacks and marriage fraud.
Prosecutors accuse him of buying the assault rifles used in the San Bernardino terror attacks, of conspiring to provide material support to terrorists, and of marriage fraud and making a false statement on immigration paperwork in relation to an alleged sham marriage with a member of Farook's family.
Marquez has pleaded not guilty.

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