Source: NBC 7 San Diego
Sixteen Marines were arrested during battalion formation at Camp Pendleton Thursday, accused of illegal activities ranging from drug-related offenses to human smuggling, officials said.
Officials with the 1st Marine Division of the U.S. Marine Corps said representatives with Naval Criminal Investigative Service (NCIS) were also involved in what they called the “mass arrests.”
The Marines – all E-2 to E-4 in rank – were arrested based on information gained from a previous human smuggling investigation, military officials said.
NBC 7 first reported the news that two Camp Pendleton-based Marines were arrested earlier this month and accused of transporting undocumented immigrants along the U.S.-Mexico border near Tecate.
U.S. Border Patrol agents arrested Lance Corporals Byron Law II and David Salazar-Quintero on July 3 in east San Diego County. The agents reportedly saw three undocumented immigrants jump into the Marines’ car on Interstate 8, just north of the border.
According to a federal complaint obtained by NBC 7, the undocumented immigrants told border agents they had agreed to pay the Marines $8,000 to take them north from the border to Los Angeles, eventually intending to head to New Jersey.
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