Semper High: Marine charged in alleged Mexican smuggling ring was also allegedly slinging LSD on base


VIDEO: The Army tests LSD on US service members

Thirteen Marines stationed at Camp Pendleton, California who were arrested in July for their alleged involvement in human smuggling at the U.S. Mexico border were recently charged with a litany of offenses, including "transporting and/or conspiring to transport undocumented immigrants," stealing smoke grenades, perjury, and failure to obey an order.

But one charge, leveled at a Marine lance corporal, stands out: the distribution of LSD on base.

Despite the nature of their alleged offenses, a charge of dealing acid seems a bit surprising. After all, it's difficult to imagine anything more horrifying than tripping balls on LSD while getting screamed at and aggressively knife-handed by an enraged SNCO for not having a proper hair cut, or for failing to render the proper greeting of the day.

The snozberries taste like snozberries... Giphy

According to the charge sheet, the Electric Kool-Aid Acid Marine allegedly distributed LSD and coke on or around Camp Pendleton between March and late July.

The full charges for Lance Cpl. Scarface are listed below. for full effect, read in your sergeant major's voice so you know what it was like when he was called out in front of the entire battalion: "To all who shall see these presents, greeting..."

(U.S. Marine Corps photo)

The news is the latest in a story that broke in early July, when Lance Cpl. Byron Law and Lance Cpl. David Javier Salazar-Quintero, who are both infantrymen with 1st Battalion, 5th Marines, were pulled over by U.S. Customs and Border Patrol personnel with the three undocumented immigrants in their back seats and arrested.

After NCIS examined their phones, the battalion held a mass formation and promptly arrested 16 Marines suspected of being part of a larger human trafficking ring.

On Sept. 20, the Marine Corps announced that 13 Marines have been charged. All but one of the Marines belongs to 1st Battalion, 5th Marines; the other is assigned to 1st Battalion, 1st Marines.

While dropping acid in uniform might seem like a terrible, horrible, no-good, very bad idea and a guaranteed way to have an awful fucking trip... there seems to be a market for it. In an unrelated incident, a Marine stationed at Camp Lejeune, North Carolina was arrested over the weekend for allegedly distributing drugs to service members and civilians in North Carolina.

Then there were the two sailors who tried to go all Breaking Bad at Naval Base Ventura County in California before that plan turned out to be a horrible idea. Not to mention that last November at least 14 sailors aboard the USS Ronald Reagan were disciplined for "LSD-related charges," as Task & Purpose previously reported.

And that came just six months after 14 airmen at F.E. Warren Air Force Base in Wyoming were disciplined for dropping acid between shifts – for those of you who don't know, that's the base responsible for protecting the Pentagon's nuclear missile silos.

Perhaps I shouldn't have been surprised that one of the charges in this case involved acid.

A UH-60 Black Hawk departs from The Rock while conducting Medevac 101 training with members of the 386th Expeditionary Medical Group, Feb. 16, 2019. (U.S. Air Force Photo/Tech. Sgt. Robert Cloys)

A Minnesota Army National Guard UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter with three Guardsmen aboard crashed south of St. Cloud on Thursday, said National Guard spokeswoman Army Master Sgt. Blair Heusdens.

At this time, the National Guard is not releasing any information about the status of the three people aboard the helicopter, Heusdens told Task & Purpose on Thursday.

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The Pentagon's latest attempt to twist itself in knots to deny that it is considering sending up to 14,000 troops to the Middle East has a big caveat.

Pentagon spokeswoman Alyssa Farah said there are no plans to send that many troops to the region "at this time."

Farah's statement does not rule out the possibility that the Defense Department could initially announce a smaller deployment to the region and subsequently announce that more troops are headed downrange.

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The Navy could send a second aircraft carrier to the Middle East if President Donald Trump orders a surge of forces to the region, Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Mike Gilday said on Thursday.

Gordon Lubold and Nancy Youssef of the Wall Street Journal first reported the United States is considering sending up to 14,000 troops to the Middle East to deter Iran from attacking U.S. forces and regional allies. The surge forces could include several ships.

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I didn't think a movie about World War I would, or even could, remind me of Afghanistan.

Somehow 1917 did, and that's probably the highest praise I can give Sam Mendes' newest war drama: It took a century-old conflict and made it relatable.

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An internal investigation spurred by a nude photo scandal shows just how deep sexism runs in the Marine Corps

"I will still have to work harder to get the perception away from peers and seniors that women can't do the job."

(U.S. Marine Corps photo)

Some years ago, a 20-year-old female Marine, a military police officer, was working at a guard shack screening service members and civilians before they entered the base. As a lance corporal, she was new to the job and the duty station, her first in the Marine Corps.

At some point during her shift, a male sergeant on duty drove up. Get in the car, he said, the platoon sergeant needs to see you. She opened the door and got in, believing she was headed to see the enlisted supervisor of her platoon.

Instead, the sergeant drove her to a dark, wooded area on base. It was deserted, no other Marines were around. "Hey, I want a blowjob," the sergeant told her.

"What am I supposed, what do you do as a lance corporal?" she would later recall. "I'm 20 years old ... I'm new at this. You're the only leadership I've ever known, and this is what happens."

She looked at him, then got out of the car and walked away. The sergeant drove up next to her and tried to play it off as a prank. "I'm just fucking with you," he said. "It's not a big deal."

It was one story among hundreds of others shared by Marines for a study initiated in July 2017 by the Marine Corps Center for Advanced Operational Culture Learning (CAOCL). Finalized in March 2018, the center's report was quietly published to its website in September 2019 with little fanfare.

The culture of the Marine Corps is ripe for analysis. A 2015 Rand Corporation study found that women felt far more isolated among men in the Corps, while the Pentagon's Office of People Analytics noted in 2018 that female Marines rated hostility toward them as "significantly higher" than their male counterparts.

But the center's report, Marines' Perspectives on Various Aspects of Marine Corps Organizational Culture, offers a proverbial wakeup call to leaders, particularly when paired alongside previous studies, since it was commissioned by the Marine Corps itself in the wake of a nude photo sharing scandal that rocked the service in 2017.

The scandal, researchers found, was merely a symptom of a much larger problem.

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