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Authorities arrested 16 Marines at Camp Pendleton early Thursday for “alleged involvement in various illegal activities,” including smuggling illegal immigrants and drug-related offenses.
The Hill’s Ellen Mitchell reports:
“Information gained from a previous human smuggling investigation precipitated the arrests,” the release said, adding that the arrests transpired at Camp Pendleton, Calif., during a battalion formation.
“None of the Marines arrested or detained for questioning served in support of the Southwest Border Support mission,” the release states.
The release added that eight other Marines “were taken aside to be questioned on their involvement in alleged drug offenses unrelated to today’s arrests.”
Task and Purpose reported that the arrests are linked to the earlier bust of two Marine infantrymen, Lance Cpl. Byron Law and Lance Cpl. David Javier Salazar-Quintero, who on July 3 were arrested along with three undocumented immigrants with whom they were driving. Border Patrol had pulled the two over as they were allegedly attempting to earn cash by driving people from Mexico into the United States, according to a federal court complaint first reported by Quartz.
The arrests reportedly came after the Naval Criminal Investigative Service found corroborating evidence on two of the Marines’ phones.