Man charged with hate crime plot to attack people of color at Bad Bunny show

Man charged with hate crime plot to attack people of color at Bad Bunny show

Bad Bunny performs on Wednesday, May 15, 2024, at State Farm Arena in Atlanta. That was one of the dates that Prieto consideres to carry out a mass shooting against people of color. Image via Paul R. Giunta/Invision/AP.

By Mivette Vega

June 14, 2024

The man told the informant and agent that he wanted to target African Americans, Latinos, Jews, Muslims, and other people of color to incite a race war ahead of the presidential election.

An Arizona man devised a meticulous plan to kill Latino, Black, and other people of color at a Bad Bunny concert.

Mark Adams Prieto was arrested on May 14, and charged with federal crimes related to an alleged plan to carry out a mass shooting on May 14 or 15, 2024, coinciding with the dates of Bad Bunny’s “Most Wanted Tour” shows in Atlanta, Georgia.

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According to a criminal complaint filed in federal court in Arizona, Prieto had been discussing his plans for the attack with an undercover FBI agent and a confidential informant since January 2024. 

Prieto was indicted by a federal grand jury Tuesday on charges of firearms trafficking, transfer of a firearm for use in a hate crime, and possession of an unregistered firearm.

The man told the informant and agent that he wanted to target African Americans, Latinos, Jews, Muslims, and other people of color to incite a race war ahead of the presidential election, federal authorities said.

Prieto, 58 of Prescott, allegedly purchased two semi-automatic rifles, a bolt-action rifle, and smoke grenades to use in the attack. He also reportedly planned to travel to Atlanta to scout out the concert venue and hide the weapons beforehand.

A source of the investigation told authorities that “Prieto believes that martial law will be implemented shortly after the 2024 election and that a mass shooting should occur prior to its implementation.” Prieto also asked the source in late 2023 if they were “ready to kill a bunch of people,” which indicated to authorities his desire to recruit people to assist him in carrying out an attack, according to an affidavit.

On May 14, FBI agents arrested Prieto in New Mexico as he was driving to Florida to visit his mother. Prieto was found to have seven firearms at the time of his arrest. Additional firearms were found at his home in Arizona.

Prieto has been charged with two counts of firearms trafficking, one count of transfer of a firearm for use in a hate crime, and one count of possession of an unregistered firearm. He is currently being held without bond pending trial.

According to the affidavit, Prieto was a vendor at gun shows in Prescott and would trade firearms from his personal collection, using only cash deals or trades to evade the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms & Explosives.

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The document also revealed that Prieto chose Atlanta as the location for the attack because it is a “liberal city” with a large minority population.

“The reason I say Atlanta. Why, why is Georgia such a f——up state now? When I was a kid, that 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. And they’ve been there for a couple, several years.”

Author

  • Mivette Vega

    Mivette Vega is a seasoned journalist and multimedia reporter whose stories center the Latino community. She is passionate about justice, equality, environmental matters, and animals. She is a Salvadorrican—Salvadorian that grew up in Puerto Rico—that has lived in San Juan, Venice, Italy, and Miami.

CATEGORIES: CRIME AND SAFETY

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