The Latest: 3 tied to terror shooter deny sham-marriage plot

AP News
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Posted: Apr 28, 2016 8:49 PM
The Latest: 3 tied to terror shooter deny sham-marriage plot

RIVERSIDE, Calif. (AP) — The Latest on warrants served in a marriage fraud investigation stemming from the December terror attack that killed 14 in San Bernardino (all times local):

5:45 p.m.

Three people with close family ties to the couple responsible for the San Bernardino terror attack have pleaded not guilty to conspiracy to commit marriage fraud.

Syed Raheel Farook, his wife, Tatiana, and Mariya Chernykh all entered pleas on Thursday afternoon in a federal court in Riverside.

Farook is the brother of Syed Rizwan Farook, one of the two shooters behind the Dec. 2 attack that killed 14 people.

The three are charged with conspiring to maintain a sham marriage between one of the women and Enrique Marquez Jr., a friend of Farook's who has been charged separately.

The marriage charges are unrelated to the attack.

The judge also set bond at $50,000 for Chernykh and required that she be subject to electronic monitoring.

Prosecutors said Chernykh was the most culpable for the sham marriage.

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5 p.m.

The mother of one of the San Bernardino shooters has agreed to post $25,000 bond for her other son and his wife, who are charged in what prosecutors say is a marriage-fraud conspiracy unrelated to the December terror attack.

Rafia Farook was expected to post bond for the pair Thursday, securing the release of Syed Raheel Farook and his wife, Tatiana. Tatiana's sister, Mariya Chernykh, was still awaiting arraignment. The women are Russian immigrants.

All three are charged with conspiracy in what prosecutors say was a sham marriage between Chernykh and Enrique Marquez Jr., the only person charged in the terror attack.

Marquez also is a longtime friend of San Bernardino attacker Syed Rizwan Farook.

Rizwan Farook and his wife carried out the December attack on a gathering of his co-workers. The couple were killed in a same-day shootout with police.

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12:40 p.m.

Three people connected to one of the San Bernardino shooters are set to appear in federal court on charges of conspiracy to commit marriage fraud.

The brother and sister-in-law of shooter Syed Rizwan Farook, as well as the wife of one of Farook's longtime friends, are set for an arraignment at 2 p.m. Thursday in Riverside, about an hour outside Los Angeles.

The three are charged with conspiring to maintain a sham marriage between one of the women and Enrique Marquez Jr., a friend of Farook's who has been charged for his alleged role in aiding the violence.

The two women are sisters and Russian immigrants.

None of the three is charged in connection to the terror attack.

Separate attorneys representing the trio did not respond to messages seeking comment.

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10:10 a.m.

Federal prosecutors say three people connected to one of the San Bernardino shooters have been arrested in a marriage fraud conspiracy.

The U.S. Attorney's Office said Thursday that those arrested include the brother and sister-in-law of shooter Syed Rizwan Farook. The third person arrested is the wife of Enrique Marquez Jr., a friend of Farook's who has been charged for his alleged role in aiding the violence.

The two women arrested are Russian immigrants.

Prosecutors say the three participated in a marriage fraud conspiracy that involved lying under oath to obtain immigration benefits.

Attorneys representing the Farook family didn't immediately return calls for comment.

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9:30 a.m.

The FBI and other law enforcement agencies have served warrants at two Southern California locations in connection with the December attack that killed 14 people in San Bernardino.

FBI spokeswoman Laura Eimiller confirmed Thursday that warrants were served in the cities of Corona and Ontario. She says it's an investigation stemming from the San Bernardino attack, but she declined to elaborate.

Eimiller says the U.S. attorney's office is expected to issue a statement.

The December attack on a gathering of San Bernardino County environmental health workers was carried out by a co-worker and his wife. In addition to those killed, 22 were wounded.

The shooters died in a gunbattle with police.