San Fernando Valley man who planned to bomb Long Beach Rally sentenced to 25 years in federal prison USAO-CDCA
LOS ANGELES – A San Fernando Valley man who planned to bomb a political rally in Long Beach in 2019 was sentenced to 25 years in federal prison today.
Mark Steven Domingo, 28, of Reseda, was convicted by US District Judge Stephen V. Wilson.
On August 11, at the end of a five-day trial, a federal jury found Domingo guilty of material aid to terrorists and one of attempted use of a weapon of mass destruction.
Judge Wilson sentenced Domingo to 15 years in prison for material aid and 25 years in federal prison for attempted use of a weapon of mass destruction – both sentences are to be served at the same time. The court also ordered Domingo to be released under custody for a term of 20 years once Domingo has served his sentence.
Domingo has been in federal custody since his arrest in April 2019.
“This defendant planned a terrorist attack with mass victims and repeatedly admitted during the trial that he had a desire to kill as many people as possible,” said Acting US Attorney Tracy L. Wilkison. “Had this bombing been successful, many innocent people would have been murdered, but this defendant has not shown remorse for his behavior, nor has he evaded the extremist ideology that motivated his terrible conspiracy.”
“Mr. Domingo represents the very real threat posed by native violent extremists in the United States,” said Kristi K. Johnson, assistant director of the FBI Los Angeles branch. “Domingo’s plans and a potentially catastrophic attack have been foiled, when the Joint Terrorism Task Force found out in advance of its intentions and conducted this successful covert operation with our partners, the result of a collaboration with the Naval Criminal Investigative Service, the Los Angeles Police Department, the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, and the Long Beach Police Department.
The investigation into Domingo was sparked by his online posts and conversations on an online forum expressing his support for violence, particularly a desire to obtain violent retaliation for attacks on Muslims and a willingness to be a martyr will. After Domingo considered various attacks – including against Jews, churches and police officers – Domingo decided to bomb a rally due to take place in Long Beach in April 2019.
As part of the plot, Domingo asked a Confederate – who was actually working with the FBI on the investigation – to invite a bomb maker into the scheme. Domingo then bought several hundred 3½-inch nails and made them available to the Confederates and the bomb maker – who was actually an undercover police officer – to use as shrapnel for the bombs. Domingo specifically selected these nails because they were long enough to penetrate the organs of the human body.
In the lead up to the attack, Domingo called for an event similar to the October 2017 mass shooting in Las Vegas. After an attack on Muslims in New Zealand in March 2019, Domingo called for retaliation in an online post.
Domingo chose the Long Beach rally as his target and in April 2019 drove his ally and the undercover officer to Long Beach to scout the location where he was about to attack. There Domingo discussed finding the most crowded areas to plant the bombs so he could kill most of the people. On April 26, 2019, Domingo received what he thought were two live bombs, but in reality they were inert explosive devices delivered by an undercover police officer. He was arrested the same day with one of the bombs in hand.
“During the negotiation, [Domingo] testified and repeatedly reiterated that he intended to commit mass murder in March and April 2019, “the prosecutors wrote in a judgment memorandum recommending life imprisonment. “He admitted that the [confidential informant] prevented him from committing at least one murder in April 2019 by encouraging him to be patient. Finally, he admitted that he was excited when he found out that the [confidential informant] Had access to someone who could construct a bomb and that he was the one who chose to attack the rally, used the bombs, and chose to enforce the conspiracy on mass murder until his arrest. “
The FBI’s Joint Terrorism Task Force (JTTF) is investigating this matter. JTTF members who participated in the investigation include the FBI, the Los Angeles Police Department, the Naval Criminal Investigative Service, the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, and the Long Beach Police Department.
United States associate attorneys Reema M. El-Amamy and David T. Ryan of the Terrorism and Export Crime Division, along with trial lawyers Lauren Goddard and Joshua Champagne of the Department of Counter-Terrorism, National Security Division of the Justice Department, prosecuted the case.