Trial to begin for Jacksonville man suspected of planning mosque shooting

Bernandino Bolatete arrested after buying silencer from undercover agent

By Frank Powers - Assignment manager, Nick Jones - Digital producer
Sketch by Steve Bridges

Bernandino Bolatete and his attorney at bond hearing at U.S. District Court

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - The trial for a man suspected of planning a mass shooting at a Jacksonville mosque is slated to begin Wednesday.

Bernandino Bolatete, 69, was arrested in December after investigators said he bought a firearm silencer from an undercover agent.

In addition to being suspected in the mass shooting plot, Bolatete was charged with unlawful possession of a silencer. His attorneys have filed a motion to dismiss the charges. They contend the law that prohibits possession of a silencer without a registration is unconstitutional.

During the trial, prosecutors plan to play a recording made by the undercover agent who "sold" Bolatete the silencer.

Police raided Bolatete's home in East Arlington and seized a stockpile of 11 guns and over 2,000 rounds of ammunition, prosecutors said. A judge found he poses “an extreme risk to the community” based on his own statements and possession of multiple firearms

Bolatete has pleaded not guilty to knowingly receiving and possessing a silencer not registered to him. He faces up to 10 years in prison if convicted.

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