Brother of San Bernardino Shooter Arrested with 2 Others Connected to Shooter

Three People with Family Ties to San Bernardino Shooter Arrested

04/28/2016 AT 04:40 PM EDT

Three people with family ties to the two San Bernardino mass shooters who killed 14 people in a mass shooting last December, have been arrested, PEOPLE confirms.

Mariya Chernykh, Tatiana Farook and Syed Raheel Farook were arrested on federal conspiracy, marriage fraud and false statement charges, a Department of Justice press release obtained by PEOPLE states.

According an indictment, also obtained by PEOPLE, all three defendants conspired to make false statements under oath in an application, affidavit, and other documents required by the immigration laws and regulations of the United States.

The press release states that according to official records, Chernykh is married to Enrique Marquez, Jr.,who is currently awaiting trial on charges of conspiring in 2011 and 2012 with Syed Rizwan Farook, the male shooter, to provide material support to terrorists.

During their investigation into the San Bernardino shooting, federal investigators discovered that Marquez and Chernykh were married. Investigators allege that Marquez agreed to marry Chernykh so she could obtain immigration benefits that were not available to her because she is a Russian citizen, the press release states.

Syed Raheel Farook and Tatiana Farook allegedly participated in the conspiracy by witnessing the wedding and allegedly taking staged family pictures of the couple to create an illusion that they were a happy couple, the indictment states.

Chernykh is also charged with fraud and misuse of visas, permits and other documents as well as two counts of making material false statements to federal agents. If convicted, she faces up to 25 years in federal prison.

Tatiana Farook, 31, is Chernykh's sister and is married to Syed Raheel Farook, the shooter's brother.

Syed Raheel Farook, 31, has also been arrested. According to records, Syed Raheel Farook enlisted in the Navy from 2003 to 2007, earning several medals during his service.

Want to keep up with the latest crime coverage? Click here to get breaking crime news, ongoing trial coverage and details of intriguing unsolved cases in the True Crime Newsletter.

Syed Raheel Farook also allegedly helped the couple – Marquez and Chernykh – open a joint bank account and allegedly create a "fictitious lease agreement purportedly establishing a joint residency for [the couple,] according to the court document.

Officials say Chernykh allegedly told FBI agents she and Marquez lived together at Syed and Tatiana Farook's home in Corona, California. However, investigators later discovered that this was not true.

Chernykh allegedly lives with her child and a man who is not her husband, the indictment states.

The three defendants are expected to be arraigned late in the day Thursday.

Last December 2, Syed Rizwan Farook and his wife Tashfeen Malik perpetrated a mass shooting at a holiday party at the Inland Regional Center in San Bernardino. Many of the victims had worked with Farook at the San Bernardino County's Department of Public Health.
blog comments powered by Disqus

From Our Partners