A San Fernando Valley man who planned the bombing of a political rally in Long Beach in 2019 was sentenced to 25 years in federal prison.
Mark Steven Domingo, 28, of Reseda, was sentenced by United States District Judge Stephen V. Wilson.
At the conclusion of a five-day trial, a federal jury on August 11 found Domingo guilty of one count of providing material support to terrorists and one count of attempted use of a weapon of mass destruction.
Judge Wilson sentenced Domingo to 15 years’ imprisonment on the providing material support count and 25 years in federal prison for attempted use of a weapon of mass destruction – both sentences to be served concurrently. The court also ordered Domingo to be placed on supervised release for a term of 20 years once Domingo completes his prison sentence.
Domingo has been in federal custody since his arrest in April 2019.
“This defendant planned a mass-casualty terrorist attack and repeatedly admitted at trial that he had a desire to kill as many people as possible,” said Acting United States Attorney Tracy L. Wilkison. “Had this bombing been successful, many innocent people would have been murdered, yet this defendant has shown no remorse for his conduct, nor has he renounced the extremist ideology that motivated his horrific plot.”
“Mr. Domingo represents the very real threat posed by homegrown violent extremists in the United States,” said Kristi K. Johnson, the Assistant Director in Charge of the FBI’s Los Angeles Field Office. “Domingo’s plans and a potentially catastrophic attack were thwarted when the Joint Terrorism Task Force learned of his intentions in advance and carried out this successful undercover operation with our partners. This case was the result of a collaborative effort 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 prompted by his online posts and conversations in an online forum in which he expressed support for violence, specifically a desire to seek violent retribution for attacks against Muslims, as well as a willingness to become a martyr. After considering various attacks – including targeting Jewish people, churches, and police officers – Domingo decided to bomb a rally scheduled to take place in Long Beach in April 2019.
As part of the plot, Domingo asked a confederate – who actually was working with the FBI as part of the investigation – to invite a bomb-maker into the scheme. Domingo then purchased and provided to the confederate and the bomb-maker – who in fact was an undercover law enforcement officer – several hundred 3½-inch nails to be used as shrapnel for the bombs. Domingo specifically chose those nails because they were long enough to penetrate organs in the human body.
Leading up to the attack, Domingo called for an event similar to the October 2017 mass shooting in Las Vegas. Following an attack on Muslims in New Zealand in March 2019, Domingo called for retribution in an online post.
Domingo selected the Long Beach rally as his target and, in April 2019, drove his confederate and the undercover officer to Long Beach to scout the location he planned to attack. While there, Domingo discussed finding the most crowded areas to place the bombs so he could kill the most people. On April 26, 2019, Domingo received what he thought were two live bombs, but actually were inert explosive devices delivered by an undercover law enforcement officer. He was arrested that same day with one of the bombs in his hands.
“At trial, [Domingo] testified and repeatedly affirmed that he intended to commit mass murder in March and April 2019,” prosecutors wrote in a sentencing memorandum that recommended a sentence of life in prison. “He admitted that the [confidential informant] stopped 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 learned that the [confidential informant] had access to an individual who could construct a bomb, and that he was the one who chose to attack the rally, chose to use the bombs, and chose to go through with the plot to commit mass murder, right up until the moment of his arrest.”
The FBI’s Joint Terrorism Task Force (JTTF) investigated 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.
Assistant United States Attorneys Reema M. El-Amamy and David T. Ryan of the Terrorism and Export Crimes Section, along with Trial Attorneys Lauren Goddard and Joshua Champagne of the National Security Section’s Counterterrorism Section at the Department of Justice, prosecuted this case.