For anyone who thinks racism is not alive and well in America, check this madness out … An Arizona man, Mark Adams Prieto, planned a mass shooting targeting Black concertgoers in Atlanta, aiming to incite a “race war” before the U.S. presidential election, federal prosecutors said. Prieto, a 58-year-old gun show vendor, intended the attack to occur at the State Farm Arena on May 14 and 15, coinciding with Puerto Rican rapper and singer Bad Bunny’s concert, according to court documents.


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Prieto’s plan fell apart because he was unaware that the two people he confided in from January to May were FBI informants. In detailing his plot, Prieto said “he planned to leave confederate flags after the shooting,” an FBI special agent revealed in an affidavit. Prieto mistakenly believed these individuals shared his racist views, prosecutors noted.

Prieto, from Prescott, Arizona, was indicted by a federal grand jury on June 11 on charges including firearms trafficking, transfer of a firearm for use in a hate crime, and possession of an unregistered firearm, as announced by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Arizona.

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The FBI became aware of Prieto in October when one informant alerted them to Prieto’s desire to start a race war before the election. This individual had interacted with Prieto at gun shows over the past three years and reported that within the last year, Prieto began making alarming comments advocating for a mass shooting targeting “Blacks, Jews, or Muslims.”

Prieto expressed frustration with the changing demographics of Georgia, stating, “The reason I say Atlanta. Why, why is Georgia such a (expletive) 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 LA, St. Louis, and all these other cities, all the (racial slurs) moved out of those (places) and moved to Atlanta.”

On February 24, at a gun show in Phoenix, Prieto told the FBI informants he wanted to create “panic” and “pandemonium” at the concert. Authorities later found seven firearms in Prieto’s car and additional weapons, including an unregistered short-barreled rifle, at his home.

If convicted, Prieto faces up to 15 years in prison and a $250,000 fine for firearms trafficking and transfer of a firearm for use in a hate crime. The possession of an unregistered firearm charge could result in up to 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.