A ‘Mass Arrest’ Of US Marines Is Taking Place On Camp Pendleton: Report
Federal authorities revealed on Thursday that US Marines were arrested during battalion formation at Camp Pendleton, accused of illegal activities ranging from drug-related offenses to human smuggling, according to NBC News.
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.
Two of the Marines were arrested on charges of human trafficking for 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. The agents reportedly saw three undocumented immigrants jump into the Marines’ car on Interstate 8, just north of the border, NBC 7 reports.
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.
An additional eight Marines were arrested on alleged drug offenses, according to the report.
More than 42,000 active duty personnel work on Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton.
The base, located on the coast near Oceanside, California, also hosts thousands of Marine reservists for annual training on its firing ranges, Urban Terrain facilities and training areas.
This is a developing story.