Arizona man accused of wanting to gun down people at Bad Bunny concert to start a ‘race war’ in Atlanta ahead of the election

Miu von Furstenberg 3 Min Read
3 Min Read
Bad Bunny Performing At Kaseya Center
Photo by Robert Bell/INSTARimages

Authorities have uncovered a plot by an Arizona man to carry out a mass shooting targeting African Americans and other minorities at Atlanta's State Farm Arena. The 58-year-old suspect, Mark Adams Prieto, was indicted by a federal grand jury on Tuesday (Jun. 11, 2024). The charges include firearms trafficking, transfer of a firearm for use in a hate crime, and possession of an unregistered firearm.

According to the indictment, Prieto conspired with two individuals, who were actually informants working with the FBI, between January and May 2024. The plan was to execute the shooting during a concert at the Atlanta venue in May.

Bad Bunny Performing At Kaseya Center
Bad Bunny performs during The Most Wanted Tour at the Kaseya Center in Miami, Florida, on May 24, 2024. Photo by Robert Bell/INSTARimages

Although authorities did not disclose the specific event, the dates mentioned in the indictment coincide with performances by popular singer Bad Bunny at the arena.

The investigation began when Prieto allegedly expressed his desire “to incite a race war” before the 2024 United States Presidential Election to a man at a gun show. Prieto, a vendor at the Crossroads of the West gun shows in Prescott, reportedly traded firearms without official oversight, using cash transactions to avoid interference from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms & Explosives.

Mark Adams Prieto
Photo by Department of Justice

On January 21, Prieto allegedly discussed his plan with an undercover FBI agent and an informant, expressing his intention to target a rap concert in Atlanta due to the city's significant Black population. He reportedly stated that a rap concert would have a “high concentration of African Americans” and planned to leave confederate flags at the scene while shouting racist slogans.

Officials say Prieto sold rifles to one of the informants multiple times. On May 14, law enforcement officers pulled Prieto over on a New Mexico interstate, discovering seven firearms in his possession. A subsequent search of his home revealed more firearms, including an unregistered short-barreled rifle.

Bad Bunny Performing At Kaseya Center
Bad Bunny performs during The Most Wanted Tour at the Kaseya Center in Miami, Florida, on May 24, 2024. Photo by Robert Bell/INSTARimages

During questioning, Prieto admitted to discussing an attack but claimed he was traveling to visit his mother in Florida, not Atlanta. He also acknowledged selling an AR-15 to the undercover FBI agent, stating it “would be a good gun to use in the attack.”

If convicted, Prieto faces up to 15 years in prison for each count of firearms trafficking and transfer of a firearm for use in a hate crime, and up to 10 years for possessing an unregistered firearm. He could also be fined up to $250,000 for each charge.

People are fucked up.

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