Smuggling Investigation Widens: 16 Marines Arrested
On Thursday, 16 Marines from Camp Pendleton were arrested during morning Infantry formation on human smuggling and drug-related charges. The arrests came as the smuggling investigation into the two previous Marines widened, according to Breitbart.
The USNI reported that the Marines were all assigned to 1st Battalion, 5th Marines, an infantry battalion in Camp San Mateo. They were arrested during morning formation at Camp Pendleton.
In early July, two Marines were arrested for bringing in three Mexican Nationals for money. Lance Cpl. Byron Darnell Law II and Lance Cpl. David Javier Salazar-Quintero were arrested with the three illegals in the back seat of their car. They were recruited by a human smuggling organization and promised $1,000 each to complete the job.
As the smuggling investigation progressed, officials believed the 16 other Marines were involved. They were arrested on Thursday.
Another 8 Marines were being questioned on drug-related issues unrelated to the human smuggling. None of the Marines were involved in the deployment at the border, according to the Corps.
In our previous story we wrote,
Law said he was supposed to get $1,000 for the July 3 pickup. Law told authorities that it was Salazar that arranged the details. Salazar told authorities that Law introduced him to smuggling. Finger pointing. That probably helped a lot. The three Mexican nationals were sitting in the back seat of the vehicle.
The Mexican nationals told authorities that they paid $8,000 to be smuggled into the US. Their destinations were to be Los Angeles and New Jersey. They identified Law as the driver.
Is money the driving motivation behind all of these actions by active duty Marines? To essentially betray their oath over money is a sad precedent, and doesn’t bode well for the future.
“Any Marines found to be in connection with these alleged activities will be questioned and handled accordingly with respect to due process.” 1st Marine Division
Featured photo: Screenshot via KTLA