The Daily Beast reporter Kevin Maurer first reported that defense attorneys for two of the special operators charged with murder and other offenses in connection with Melgar's death will argue that the NCIS agent became romantically involved with the witness, who worked in the intelligence community.
NCIS spokesman Jeff Houston confirmed to Task & Purpose that an agent had been removed from the case but he declined to say why.
Investigators are looking into whether a sailor killed himself after an activist group posted a video of him online that purportedly showed him trying to solicit a minor, Task & Purpose has learned.
Task & Purpose is withholding the sailor's name while the investigation into his death is ongoing.
Navy Department officials declined to comment until the investigation is complete.
Based in San Diego, the private group CC_Unit – short for "Creep Catcher Unit" – uses decoy accounts to pose as children on dating apps and then makes videos confronting people who respond that they want to have sex with minors, said the group's founder, who goes by the alias "Ghost."
"I've always been a big fan of Chris Hansen and 'To Catch a Predator,'" Ghost, who declined to give his real name, told Task & Purpose. "I always grew up with girls that have been victims of sexual abuse and abuse in general. Now that I'm a bit older – I'm 21 – I can actually make a difference, make a change."
"Richard Anthony Rodriguez served in the U.S. Army from August 1991 to August 2012," said Army spokesman William Sharp. "He attained the rank of master sergeant and held the military occupational specialties of infantryman, weapons sergeant, and senior sergeant. During his service he deployed to Afghanistan four times between 2006 and 2011."
U.S. military officials are refusing to provide the most basic information about the death of an American contractor in Iraq, for which two Marines and a sailor are reportedly under investigation.
The Daily Beast has identified the contractor as former Green Beret Rick Rodriguez, who worked for Lockheed Martin in Irbil. Rodriguez died at Landstuhl Regional Medical Center, Germany, on Jan. 4, reportedly from injuries that he sustained during a fight with U.S. service members.
The Naval Criminal Investigative Service is looking into a Marine for allegedly making comments on Facebook blaming sexual violence on young girls, a 2nd Marine Logistics Group spokesman told Task & Purpose.
Master Sgt. Mark McBride made the comments on Sunday as part of a discussion about rap artist R. Kelly, who has been accused of statutory rape in a recent documentary.
In the months since the exposure of revenge porn social media sites such as “Marines United,” the Marine Corps has been forced to confront the digital manifestation of its culture of toxic masculinity. The Marines United Facebook group was just one of numerous social media websites where intimate images of female Marines were shared without their consent.