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Marines Charged For Alleged Smuggling Of Undocumented Immigrants

A human smuggling investigation by the military led to the arrest of 16 Marin...

Photo by Lenny Ignelzi AP

Above: A human smuggling investigation by the military led to the arrest of 16 Marines on Thursday while carrying out a battalion formation at California's Camp Pendleton, a base about an hour's drive from the U.S.-Mexico border.

The Marine Corps officially announced charges Friday against 13 Marines for alleged misconduct, including accusations they smuggled undocumented immigrants and committed drug-related offenses.

The Marines — detained in July — will face military court proceedings for alleged transportation of humans, as well as failure to obey an order, drunkenness, endangerment, larceny and perjury, according to a Marine Corps statement.

Two of the Marines, Lance Cpl. Byron D. Law and Lance Cpl. David J. Salazar-Quintero, were named in the release, but the other 11 defendants' names were withheld. Law and Salazar-Quintero's names were released because they have been publicly named by the U.S. Attorney's Office, which charged the men federally for alleged transportation of undocumented immigrants for financial gain. They were taken into custody on July 3.

RELATED: 16 Camp Pendleton Marines Arrested In Migrant Smuggling Investigation

Seven of the unidentified lance corporals have been charged with Article 134 violations, which refer to alleged transportation and/or conspiracy to transport undocumented immigrants. One of those Marines is also charged with larceny and failure to obey an order, while another is also charged with endangerment and failure to obey an order.

Additionally, three lance corporals have been charged with perjury and one has been charged with drunkenness.

One of the Marines was arrested July 10, while the other 10 defendants were taken into custody July 25 during a battalion formation at Camp Pendleton, officials said.

"None of the Marines arrested or detained for questioning served in support of the Southwest Border Support mission," the Marine Corps statement said.


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