13 Marines at Camp Pendleton charged with crimes related to smuggling of undocumented immigrants from Mexico

U.S. Marines Work On The US-Mexico Border Wall

Thirteen Marines have been formally charged for their alleged roles in a human smuggling ring, according to a press release from 1st Marine Division released on Friday.

The Marines face military court proceedings on various charges, from "alleged transporting and/or conspiring to transport undocumented immigrants" to larceny, perjury, distribution of drugs, and failure to obey an order. "They remain innocent until proven guilty," said spokeswoman Maj. Kendra Motz.

News of the charges is the latest development in a story that began back on July 3, when two Marine infantrymen, Lance Cpl. Byron Law and Lance Cpl. David Javier Salazar-Quintero, were pulled over and arrested by Border Patrol — along with three undocumented immigrants in the backseat — as they were allegedly trying to make a quick buck shuttling people from Mexico into the United States, according to a federal court complaint first reported by Quartz.

After NCIS had examined both Marines' phones, 1st Battalion, 5th Marine regiment held a mass formation later that month where 16 Marines were called out and arrested as being potentially part of a larger ring. On Friday, the division press release said that both Law and Salazar-Quintero had been hit with smuggling charges, in addition to 11 others.

Five lance corporals were charged with smuggling; three lance corporals were charged with perjury; one lance corporal was charged with distributing LSD and cocaine; and one lance corporal was charged with failure to obey an order, larceny, and smuggling. All are assigned to 1/5.

One other lance corporal assigned to 1st Battalion, 1st Marine Regiment was charged with failure to obey an order, endangerment offenses, and smuggling. That Marine, according to the press release, was detained by U.S. Border Patrol on July 10. According to the charge sheet, the charges of failing to obey and endangerment stem from his allegedly keeping a 9mm handgun in his barracks room, car, and unlawfully concealed carrying it when he was arrested.

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

(Department of Defense)

Actor Mark Wahlberg will be visiting troops overseas to plug Wahlburgers, a fast-casual restaurant chain owned by the actor and his two brothers, Donnie Wahlberg, and chef Paul Wahlberg.

Read More Show Less
From left to right: Naval SEAL Chief Eddie Gallagher, Army 1st Lt. Clint Lorance, and Army Special Forces Maj. Matthew Golsteyn (DoD photos)

The U.S. military will not disintegrate into an undisciplined horde following President Donald Trump's recent intervention in three war crimes cases, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Army Gen. Mark Milley assured lawmakers on Wednesday.

Milley was testifying before the House Armed Services Committee when he was pressed by Iraq war veteran Rep. Seth Moulton (D-Mass.) about the president's actions in the cases of former Army 1st Lt. Clint Lorance, retired Army Maj. Matthew Golsteyn, and retired Navy SEAL Chief Eddie Gallagher.

Read More Show Less

Taliban fighters attempted to fight their way into Bagram Airfield on Wednesday by invading a medical facility just outside of the base's perimeter, a spokesman for Operation Resolute Support said Wednesday.

J.P. Lawrence of Stars and Stripes and Jim LaPorta of Newsweek first reported that the battle lasted for several hours after using car bombs to attack the hospital, which is near the base's northern corner. Helicopter and fixed-wing aircraft were reportedly used to drop ordnance on the hospital.

Read More Show Less
The welcome sign at Naval Air Station Corpus Christi (Facebook photo)

An armed suspect was taken into custody at Naval Air Station Corpus Christi on Wednesday morning after a brief lockdown period, according to the Texas base's Facebook account.

Though the exact nature of the incident is unclear, base officials wrote that no shots were fired and no injuries were reported.

Read More Show Less
(DoD photo)

Among the dozens of requirements outlined in the latest version of the National Defense Authorization Act is the requirement for the Secretary of Defense to create a public database for privatized housing complaints.

So, that will be... a lot.

Read More Show Less