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16 Marines arrested after being tied to smuggling of undocumented immigrants from Mexico
Sixteen Marines with 1st Marine Division were arrested on Thursday at a battalion formation for "alleged involvement in various illegal activities ranging from human smuggling to drug-related offenses," the Corps said in a press release.
Another eight Marines were questioned about their involvement in alleged drug offenses, the release said, which added that "information gained from a previous human smuggling investigation precipitated the arrests."
The arrest of the 16 can be traced back to the case of two Marine infantrymen, Lance Cpl. Byron Law and Lance Cpl. David Javier Salazar-Quintero, who were pulled over and arrested by Border Patrol on July 3 — 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.
A source familiar with the matter told Task & Purpose the mass arrest of additional Marines came after the Naval Criminal Investigative Service pulled information from the phones of Law and Salazar-Quintero.
Maj. Kendra Motz, a spokeswoman for 1st Marine Division, told Task & Purpose the unit involved was 1st Battalion, 5th Marine Regiment, the same unit where Law and Salazar-Quintero were assigned. She added that all the Marines arrested or detained were between the ranks of Private First Class and Corporal.
"1st Marine Division is committed to justice and the rule of law, and we will continue to fully cooperate with NCIS on this matter," the release said. "Any Marines found to be in connection with these alleged activities will be questioned and handled accordingly with respect to due process."
The Marines arrested on Thursday were not assigned to the southwest border mission, the release said.
According to the July 3 complaint, Law told Border Patrol that he was an active-duty Marine and dimed out Salazar-Quintero as the organizer of the smuggling operation. "Law stated that last night, Salazar called and asked him if he was willing to make $1000.00 USD picking up an illegal alien," the complaint said.
On July 2nd, Law said they both traveled to Jacumba, California while being guided "via cell phone instructions from an Unknown Mexico number," the complaint said. They then picked up a single immigrant and brought him to a McDonald's parking lot in Del Mar, it continued.
The next day, Law said Salazar called him for another job. This time, they both went to the same area and picked up "three illegal aliens" off the I-8 freeway.
Salazar, meanwhile, said Law introduced him to smuggling through a recruiter. Salazar also admitted to coming to Jacumba to pick up undocumented immigrants on four different occasions, the complaint said.
The three immigrants who were arrested identified Law as the driver of the car that picked them up. Two of them said they were going to pay $8,000 to be smuggled into the U.S.
"We are aware of the charges facing Lance Cpl. Law and Lance Cpl. Salazar-Quintero, and we continue to cooperate fully with the investigative efforts into this matter," Marine spokesman 1st Lt. Cameron Edinburgh previously told Task & Purpose.
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. President Donald Trump on Sunday told North Korean leader Kim Jong Un to "act quickly" to reach a deal with the United States, in a tweet weighing in on North Korea's criticism of his political rival former Vice President Joe Biden.
Trump, who has met Kim three times since 2018 over ending the North's missile and nuclear programs, addressed Kim directly, referring to the one-party state's ruler as "Mr. Chairman".
In his tweet, Trump told Kim, "You should act quickly, get the deal done," and hinted at a further meeting, signing off "See you soon!"
It is impossible to tune out news about the impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump now that the hearings have become public. And this means that cable news networks and Congress are happier than pigs in manure: this story will dominate the news for the foreseeable future unless Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt get back together.
But the wall-to-wall coverage of impeachment mania has also created a news desert. To those of you who would rather emigrate to North Korea than watch one more lawmaker grandstand for the cameras, I humbly offer you an oasis of news that has absolutely nothing to do with Washington intrigue.
MOSCOW (Reuters) - Russia will return three captured naval ships to Ukraine on Monday and is moving them to a handover location agreed with Kiev, Crimea's border guard service was cited as saying by Russian news agencies on Sunday.
A Reuters reporter in Crimea, which Russian annexed from Ukraine in 2014, earlier on Sunday saw coastguard boats pulling the three vessels through the Kerch Strait toward the Black Sea where they could potentially be handed over to Ukraine.
Nine years after losing both legs in Afghanistan, he's found purpose in family, friends and inspiring others
There's a joke that Joey Jones likes to use when he feels the need to ease the tension in a room or in his own head.
To calm himself down, he uses it to remind himself of the obstacles he's had to overcome. When he faces challenges today — big or small — it brings him back to a time when the stakes were higher.
Jones will feel out a room before using the line. For nearly a decade, Jones, 33, has told his story to thousands of people, given motivational speeches to NFL teams and acted alongside a three-time Academy Award-winning actor.
On Tuesday afternoon, he stood at the front of a classroom at his alma mater, Southeast Whitfield High School in Georgia. The room was crowded with about 30 honor students.
It took about 20 minutes, but Jones started to get more comfortable as the room warmed up to him. A student asked about how he deals with post-traumatic stress disorder.
"I believe in post-traumatic growth," Jones said. "That means you go through tough and difficult situations and on the back end through recovery, you learn strength."
It didn't take long for a central theme to emerge at the funeral of U.S. Marine Pfc. Joseph Livermore, an event attended by hundreds of area residents Friday at Union Cemetery in Bakersfield.
It's a theme that stems from a widespread local belief that the men and women who have served in the nation's armed forces are held in particularly high esteem here in the southern valley.
"In Bakersfield and Kern County, we celebrate our veterans like no place else on Earth," Bakersfield Chief of Police Lyle Martin told the gathering of mourners.