Three people with family connections to San Bernardino shooter Syed Rizwan Farook were arrested Thursday after a federal grand jury returned indictments against them for allegedly helping with the terror conspiracy and making false statements.
Lead Stories received this statement from the U.S. attorney's office Thursday.
The three defendants arrested this morning are:
- Mariya Chernykh, 26, of Ontario, who, according to official records, is married to Enrique Marquez, Jr., who is awaiting trial on charges of conspiring with Syed Rizwan Farook in 2011 and 2012 to provide material support to terrorists;
- Tatiana Farook, 31, of Corona, who is Chernykh's sister; and
- Syed Raheel Farook, 31, of Corona, who Tatiana Farook's husband and Syed Rizwan 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."
Read the full statement from the U.S. Attorney here
The case against Chernykh and the Farooks stems from the overall investigation into the IRC terrorist attack. While investigating the terrorist attack, federal agents obtained official records showing that Marquez, a former neighbor of Syed Rizwan Farook's, is married to Chernykh. The investigation determined that Marquez agreed to marry Chernykh so she could obtain immigration benefits that were not available to her because she is a Russian citizen and did not have legal status in the United States. The indictment alleges that Marquez received money from Chernykh to enter into the sham marriage.
In furtherance of this conspiracy, both Marquez and Chernykh signed immigration documents, under penalty of perjury, that included information that they lived at the same address, when they did not.
Syed Raheel Farook and Tatiana Farook participated in the conspiracy by, among other things, witnessing Marquez and Chernykh's wedding, taking staged family pictures of Marquez and Chernykh, establishing a joint checking account for Marquez and Chernykh, and creating a back-dated lease for Marquez and Chernykh to create the illusion that they shared a marital residence with Syed Raheel Farook and Tatiana Farook.