EXCLUSIVE: FBI Whistleblower Steve Friend Blasts DOJ’s Race-War-Bad-Bunny-Concert-Shooting Charges

Prescott, Arizona, resident Mark A. Prieto carries two long rifles in this undated surveillance photo. (Credit: DOJ)

The FBI agent, suspended after he made protected disclosures about how the Federal Bureau of Investigation abused J6 suspects with SWAT raids and manipulated how it reported its J6 investigations, told RedState that the June 11 indictment of an Arizona man on weapons and hate crime charges were typical of the phony crimes orchestrated by FBI agents to rope in innocent Americans.

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“It follows the exact same pattern. It's very cookie cutter,” said Steve Friend, the author of the book “True Blue: My Journey from Beat Cop to Suspended FBI Whistleblower" in an exclusive interview.

The Justice Department press release said Mark Adams Prieto, Prescott, Arizona, was planning a spree shooting in Atlanta at what a media outlet identified as Bad Bunny concerts—an attack plan he hatched with FBI assets.


The indictment alleges that, between January 2024 and May 2024, Prieto had discussions with two individuals working with the Federal Bureau of Investigation to devise a plan to commit a mass shooting of African Americans and other minorities to incite a race war prior to the 2024 United States Presidential Election. Prieto did not know the individuals were working with the government, but instead believed that they shared his racist beliefs and wanted to commit a mass shooting to incite a race war. The targeted event was a concert in Atlanta that was going to be held on May 14 and May 15, 2024.

The indictment further alleges that having discussed specific details about the planned attack, Prieto sold two rifles to one of the individuals, an AK-style rifle on February 25, 2024, and an AR-style rifle on March 24, 2024. During the entire investigation, the Federal Bureau of Investigation closely monitored Prieto's movements. On May 14, 2024, Prieto was stopped by law enforcement driving east from Arizona through New Mexico along Interstate 40. Prieto was in possession of seven firearms and was taken into federal custody. Law enforcement then executed a search warrant at his home in Prescott. Law enforcement found more firearms in his residence, including an unregistered short-barreled rifle.

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Friend: Prieto arrest similar to FBI’s creation of Whitmer’s hoax kidnapping

The former police officer said what jumped out at him was its similarity to the hoax kidnapping of Michigan’s Democrat Gov. Gretchen Whitmer. In that situation, 14 Michigan men were arrested in October 2020. Later, Americans found out there were at least two undercover FBI agents and three confidential informants instigating the plot and keeping the plotters together and focused on the mission.

My RedState colleague Bonchie covered the FBI involvement in the Whitmer hoax kidnapping in his article: “The FBI Just Took Another Gut Punch Over the Gretchen Whitmer Kidnapping Plot.”

“This is what my fellow suspended FBI agents and I call the playbook,” Friend said, before elaborating:

“The playbook is you find someone who's vulnerable, maybe is an emotionally disturbed person, and then you provoke them and entrap them, for lack of a better word.

“The way that the DOJ interprets entrapment, they are broad with that interpretation and you encourage them over however long you need to do something they are not predisposed to do or to agree to do something.

"They find a vulnerable person; a lot of them are poor, maybe emotionally disturbed, maybe just low intelligence, and they will entrap them into these schemes. That is universally done around the bureau at this point.”

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There are also similarities to the federal government raid on the Ruby Ridge, Idaho, home of Randy Weaver and his family, he said. In that August 1992 raid and subsequent siege, federal agents shot and killed Weaver’s wife Vicki, son Samuel, and dog Striker

Weaver was indicted on gun charges based on an ATF informant pressuring him to shorten the barrels of two shotguns below the federal requirement.


Friend said that he could see how the FBI had set up Prieto just by reading the press release.

“You can even see it from the press release, they say in conversations with these two people being agents or undercover, or most likely there's two of them, so it's most likely an undercover online employee and a confidential human source who sought out this guy online.

“They don’t even have to leave their desks. They might not even be in the same state, but they go, and they poke around online and find people that are saying things that they deem to be worthy of their attention.”

The Notre Dame graduate said that it sounds like the Whitmer case because it is like the Whitmer case—like most FBI national security cases—there was no actual terrorist crime or intent.

One study reviewed 400 domestic terrorism cases by the FBI, which for that only four were legitimate cases where an attack was imminent without FBI intervention, he said. 

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“That’s 99 percent,” he said. 

Friend: FBI pressured to produce extremist cases

Friend said the FBI responds to political signals so that 20 years ago, it was manufacturing Islamic terrorism cases, but now the demand is for extremist cases. He said:

“The demand for terrorism cases from the FBI vastly outstrips the supply of actual threats that occur in this country, but the FBI is under constant pressure to generate those sorts of cases because there's a massive amount of funding that is tied to them."

When the targeted individual or individuals fail to live up to the terrorist the FBI needs, the playbook calls for the agents to find a way to loop them into a gun charge, so at least they have something, he said.

“There will always be a fallback, and they'll either try to attempt a contact with the person and then say they lied to a federal agent. That’ll still give them a criminal charge, and they can say that a terrorism subject was arrested, or they go to the 922, which is the gun charge.”

"922" refers to 18 USC 922, the federal law governing firearms.

In the Prieto case, although the press release plays up the potential of a mass shooting at Atlanta concerts, something had to go wrong, he said.

“In this case, they got him to agree to sell a gun, that's it,” he said.

“They have the headline of terrorism,” said the Fellow on Domestic Intelligence and Security Services at the Washington-based Center for Renewing America. 

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“Oh, it was going to be used in a terrorist attack, so he's a terrorist, and we have an arrest,” he said.

“Nobody reads beyond that where it says it's a gun crime — it's not even a national security investigation at that point.”

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