US: San Bernardino shooter relatives taken into custody

WASHINGTON (AA) – Three people with familial ties to San Bernardino shooter Syed Rizwan Farook have been taken into FBI custody on charges not related to the deadly Dec. 2 shooting spree, the bureau said Thursday.

Those arrested are Farook’s older brother, Syed Raheel Farrok, 31, his wife, Tatiana Farook, also 31, and her sister Mariya Chernykh, 26.

A federal grand jury returned a five-count indictment against the trio Wednesday stemming from conspiracy to commit marriage fraud, according to a statement from the FBI.

Chernykh is married to Enrique Marquez Jr., who is charged with conspiring to provide material support to terrorists. He purchased the rifles that the junior Farook and his wife used in the shootings.

He is also charged with entering into a sham marriage with Chernykh in November 2014.

The Justice Department previously said Marquez signed an immigration form falsely saying that he was living with Chernykh.

She separately faces four charges related to fraud and misuse of visas, permits and other documents and, making false statements to federal agents.

If found guilty, Chernykh faces up to 25 years in federal prison.

“Today’s arrests open a new phase in the process of bringing to justice all individuals who allegedly committed crimes that were uncovered during our exhaustive investigation,” U.S. Attorney Eileen M. Decker said in a statement. “Those who lie to or conceal material information from law enforcement officers investigating terrorist acts will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.”

Fourteen people were killed, and 22 other individuals were injured at the Inland Regional Center when Farook and his wife opened fire during a holiday party.