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FBI Prevents Racially Motivated Mass Shooting At Atlanta Concert

The FBI uncovered and thwarted an Arizona man’s plot to incite racial violence at an Atlanta concert, resulting in federal charges for firearms trafficking and hate crime intentions. The man’s mass shooting plan involved targeting a concert due to its high African American attendance, but was stopped through an undercover operation.

ATLANTA, GA (2-minute read) — Authorities say they have thwarted an Arizona man’s plot to incite racial violence at a concert in Atlanta’s State Farm Arena. Mark Adams Prieto, a 58-year-old from Prescott, has been charged with firearms trafficking, transferring a firearm for use in a hate crime, and possessing an unregistered firearm.

Between January and May 2024, Prieto discussed plans with two individuals working undercover for the FBI to carry out a mass shooting at a concert. The dates match performances by popular artist Bad Bunny, although authorities did not specify the exact concert targeted.

The investigation began after Prieto expressed his desire to “incite a race war” before the 2024 Presidential Election. As a vendor at gun shows in Prescott, he allegedly sold firearms through cash transactions to avoid detection by the ATF.

Atlanta Mass Shooting Plan Uncovered

On January 21, Prieto discussed with an informant and an undercover FBI agent his intentions to attack a rap concert due to its significant African American audience. He intended to leave confederate flags and chant phrases such as “KKK all the way” after the violence.

The FBI’s operation revealed that Prieto sold rifles multiple times to the informants. On May 14, law enforcement stopped Prieto on a New Mexico highway, where he was found with seven firearms. A subsequent search of his home uncovered more firearms, including an unregistered short-barreled rifle.

During questioning, Prieto admitted to the discussions about an attack but claimed he was traveling to visit his mother in Florida. He also acknowledged selling an AR-15 to the undercover agent, stating it would be suitable for the attack.

If convicted, Prieto faces up to 15 years in prison for each count of firearms trafficking and transferring a firearm for use in a hate crime, as well as up to 10 years for possessing an unregistered firearm. He could also face fines up to $250,000 per charge.

Safety Tip: Always be aware of your surroundings and report any suspicious activity to authorities immediately. Responsible gun ownership includes understanding and adhering to all firearm laws.

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