US Six Camp Pendleton Marines plead guilty at courts-martial to human trafficking, drug charges, officials say

02:55  04 december  2019
02:55  04 december  2019 Source:   foxnews.com

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A total of six Marines detained during a mass arrest earlier this year have pleaded guilty and over a dozen have submitted pre-trial agreements related to their separate cases, which range from charges of drug distribution to human trafficking .

The two Marines are both riflemen assigned to 1st Battalion, 5th Marine Regiment, 1st Marine Division, at Camp Pendleton , California. Both Marines face federal charges for allegedly smuggling three undocumented immigrants near the U.S.-Mexico border for financial gain, court documents detail.

Six of nearly two dozen Marines detained this summer on human trafficking and drug-related charges have pleaded guilty at courts-martial, the 1st Marine Division said Tuesday.

a pile of dirt in front of a building© NBC 7

The six were among 23 Marines from Camp Pendleton in Southern California who were detained in July on human trafficking, drug distribution and weapons charges.

Of the remaining 17 Marines, 13 have requested separation from service instead of courts-martial, Lt. Cameron Edinburgh said in a press release. Their requests have been approved.

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The arrest of 16 Marines at Camp Pendleton is related to an two earlier arrests on human smuggling charges . The move comes three weeks after two other Marines were picked up by a Border Control agent in the area and charged with transporting three Mexicans who had illegally crossed into the U.S.

Sixteen U.S. Marines were arrested on Thursday morning for their alleged involvement in activities ranging from human smuggling to drug -related offenses, the Marine Corps said . The arrests were carried out by officials from 1st Marine Division and the Naval Criminal Investigative Service during

Officials are still reviewing criminal charges for the remaining four Marines. It is unclear what kind of sentence the six who pleaded guilty will face.


The 23 Marines were arrested during three separate incidents.

During a Battalion formation on July 25, 16 Marines were arrested on suspicion of human trafficking-related activities and drug charges. Last month, a military judge ruled that those arrests were unlawful and a violation of the rights of the accused.

Earlier that month, two Camp Pendleton-based Marines were arrested and accused of transporting illegal immigrants for money, according to a federal complaint obtained by Fox 5. The San Diego Union-Tribune reported that those Marines, Lance Corporals Byron Darnell Law II and David Salazar-Quintero, are among the four who are facing criminal charges.


Camp Pendleton is located near Oceanside, about 50 miles north of San Diego.

Fox News' Travis Fedschun and Lucas Tomlinson contributed to this report.

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