Man Indicted For Plotting Bad Bunny Concert Mass Shooting in Bid To Spark ‘Race War,’ Feds Say

Man Indicted For Plotting Bad Bunny Concert Mass Shooting in Bid To Spark ‘Race War,’ Feds Say

A 58-year-old Arizona man who spent months plotting to stage a violent attack at a Bad Bunny show in Atlanta in May in order to spark a race war ahead of this November’s presidential election was indicted by a federal grand jury on Tuesday. According to NBC News, Mark Adams Prieto was indicted on charges of firearms trafficking, transfer of a firearm for use in a hate crime and possession of an unregistered firearm following a monthslong investigation by the FBI that resulted in his arrest last month.


The Justice Department said that Prieto is currently in the custody of the U.S. Marshals Service awaiting transport from New Mexico to Arizona. NBC reported that according to an arrest affidavit, officials began investigating Prescott, Arizona native Prieto in October after a confidential source told a Phoenix FBI agent that a man — later identified as Prieto — had talked about wanting to incite a race war in the run-up to this November’s election.

The source told authorities that they’d spoken to Prieto more than 15 times over the course of three years at gun shows, where their chats grew from small talk to political discussions. Last year, however, the source told authorities that Prieto started making concerning comments “advocating for a mass shooting” that the affidavit said would specifically target Black people, as well as Jews and Muslims.

Prieto — a vendor at gun shows who allegedly traded his personal guns in cash or swap deals in order to evade detection from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms & Explosives — reportedly believed that “martial law will be implemented shortly after the 2024 election and that a mass shooting should occur prior” to it being invoked, asking the source in late 2023 if they were “ready to kill a bunch of people.”

The FBI surveilled Prieto from January to March of this year, with the affidavit claiming that on January 21 Prieto told the source and an undercover FBI agent acting as an associate of the source at a Phoenix gun show that he wanted them to help him carry out a mass shooting that targeted Black people at an undetermined rap show in Atlanta. In describing his reasoning for picking Atlanta, the affidavit said Prieto explained, “When I was a kid that [Georgia] 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 [N-words] moved out of those [places] and moved to Atlanta. That’s why it isn’t so great anymore.”

Prieto allegedly said he wanted to attack a hip-hop show because there would be a high concentration of African Americans there and he was planning to leave confederate flags behind afterwards to send the message that “we’re going to fight back now, and every whitey will be the enemy across the whole country,” adding “KKK all the way” and that he wanted to show “no mercy, no quarter.” Prieto is also alleged to have made plans to travel to Atlanta in advance to store weapons in the area, stressing that having a “high body count” was the most important aspect of the planned attack.

On March 23, Prieto attended another gun show in Arizona where he allegedly told an undercover agent that he was still planning the attack, fearing that if he waited until after the election, “they might have everything in place you can’t even drive, you’ll be stopped,” according to the affidavit. At that point Prieto appeared to hone in on a pair of Bad Bunny shows at State Farm Arena in Atlanta on May 14 and 15, telling the undercover agent that he wanted them to wear hoodies because he thought they wouldn’t raise any alarms dressed that way at a hip-hop show. The following day Prieto allegedly sold an AR-15 to the undercover agent for $1,000 and told him to use it during the attack and to bring along as many gun magazines as he could carry.

At a subsequent gun show in April in Prescott the affidavit said that when the undercover agent asked Prieto if his attack was still on target for May, he said he was planning to push the date back. Prieto was then arrested in New Mexico on May 14 and admitted to knowing the undercover agent and the source and discussing the potential attack on a public venue in Atlanta.

“However, he told agents that he did not intend to go forward with the attack,” the affidavit said, noting that Prieto also allegedly admitted to having sold the AR-15 to the agent and telling him that it would be a good weapon to use in the attack. According to the Justice Department, Prieto allegedly told agents he had seven firearms in his car before being taken into custody and when agents searched his home they found additional firearms as well as an unregistered short-barreled rifle.

Each conviction on Firearms Trafficking and Transfer of Firearm for Use in a Hate Crime carries a maximum penalty of 15 years in prison, as well as a fine of $250,000, or both; a conviction for Possession of an Unregistered Firearm carries a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison. a fine of $250,000, or both.

A spokesperson for Bad Bunny had not returned Billboard’s request for comment at press time.

The post “Man Indicted For Plotting Bad Bunny Concert Mass Shooting in Bid To Spark ‘Race War,’ Feds Say” by Gil Kaufman was published on 06/14/2024 by