Arizona Man Detained for Planned Attack on Black Atlantans and Bad Bunny Concert Before Election

Federal authorities have detained an Arizona man, Mark Adams Prieto, in connection with a mass shooting plan targeting Black Atlantans before the November presidential election. Prieto, who had made "suspicious and alarming comments," had been tipped off by a paid informant that he intended to disrupt Bad Bunny's May 14-15 performance at State Farm Arena. According to court records, Prieto intended to start a racial conflict before the election.

Prieto reportedly told the informant and an undercover FBI agent that he intended to target Atlanta because he believed African Americans were responsible for violence in the city and across Georgia. He also planned to leave confederate flags after the shooting to send a message that he was going to fight back now, and every Whitey will be the enemy across the whole country. The FBI informant was familiar with Prieto from his sales of firearms from his personal collection at gun fairs in Arizona.

Prieto reportedly asked the informant whether they were "ready to kill a bunch of people" and seemed interested in finding someone to assist in carrying out the plan. He instructed the undercover agent and informant to avoid arrest and advised them to fly to Atlanta in advance of the event to stockpile weapons for the assault.

Prieto also reportedly informed the FBI informant that the assault had to happen before the presidential election, even if it could wait until June or July. He warned against waiting until after the election as they could have everything set up and you would not be able to even drive.

It is unknown how ready Prieto was to execute his intentions. Investigators found that Prieto lacked a passport and there was no proof of his having been abroad, despite his supposed admission to the FBI source that he had engaged in mercenary combat in Ukraine and "killed Russian soldiers."

According to Jon Lewis, a research fellow at the George Washington University Program on Extremism, the purported scheme is similar to a trend emerging around the 2024 presidential election, which involves the election being "stolen" from former President Donald Trump and the federal government cracking down thereafter. This is not the same as four years earlier, when the election of Trump to office gave far-right domestic radicals more confidence.

Prieto faces charges of possessing an unlicensed weapon, trafficking in guns, and transferring a firearm for use in a hate crime. A federal magistrate judge in New Mexico held a hearing on May 21 and refused Prieto bail.


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