The July arrests of 16 Camp Pendleton Marines in front of their 800-person battalion was unlawful and a violation of their rights, a Marine Corps judge ruled Friday.

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The arrests of 15 Marines in July for running an alleged human smuggling ring at Camp Pendleton were caught on video by a 1st Marine Division public affairs official (U.S. Marine Corps video))

None of the 13 Marines recently arrested and charged in the case of an alleged human smuggling ring at Camp Pendleton are accused of transporting any unauthorized immigrants across the border, the lead investigator in the case said Tuesday.

They are charged based on the allegation they were part of a conspiracy to transport the immigrants across the county.

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Pfc. Ryan Wayne Martin (U.S. Marine Corps photo)

NORTH COUNTY, Calif. —A 19-year-old South Carolina man killed in a motorcycle crash Wednesday morning in Carlsbad was a Camp Pendleton Marine, authorities said Thursday.

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Matthew Kraft (1st Marine Division photo)

When a massive multi-agency aerial search in the High Sierras revealed heat coming from a snow-covered location along the Sierra High Route, family members of 1st Lt. Matthew Kraft were hopeful.

The infantry Marine, a platoon leader with the 1st Battalion, 7th Marines at Twentynine Palms based out of Camp Pendleton, had undertaken a two-week backcountry ski trip along the 195-mile route beginning in the Inyo Forest near Lone Pine. The trip, which started Feb. 24 was to be done over 10 days, and Kraft, 24, notified family and the Marine Corps that he expected to arrive at Bridgeport March 4 or 5.

When Kraft didn't arrive as planned, a search began.

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(U.S. Marine Corps/Lance Cpl. Dalton S. Swanbeck)

LAGUNA HILLS — A plan to create a permanent monument for Camp Pendleton's 3rd Battalion/5th Marines — a unit Laguna Hills adopted in 2008 — is moving forward.

The battalion, known as Darkhorse, is celebrated each year during the city's annual Memorial Day Half Marathon, which raises funds for Team Darkhorse, a community group that supports the battalion's Marines and their families. During the race, banners of the 25 Darkhorse Marines killed during a 2010 deployment to Afghanistan are displayed along the route, on city streets.

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Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton has played a major role in military history over the past 77 years, and John Farritor is one of the rare men who has seen that history unfold from the start.

The Vista, California veteran, who turned 100 on Tuesday, is one of the few surviving Marine veterans who marched 55 miles from Camp Elliott in San Diego to christen the newly opened base near Oceanside in September 1942.

He also fought with Camp Pendleton-based divisions in some of the Corps' most defining and deadly battles of World War II and the Korean War, including at Iwo Jima, Bougainville, the Pusan Perimeter, the Inchon Landing and the Chosin Reservoir.

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