CAMP PENDLETON (CBSLA/AP) — Thirteen Marines at Camp Pendleton have been charged with being part of a human smuggling operation.
At least five of the Marines were accused of the crime of human smuggling, eight others face other charges related to the operation.
Those formally charged with human smuggling include two riflemen who were stopped by U.S. Border Patrol agents on July 3 driving from the US-Mexico border with three Mexicans in the back of a BMW.
They have been identified as Lance Cpl. Byron D. Law and Lance Cpl. David J. Salazar-Quintero, Both men are members of 1st Battalion, 5th Marine Regiment, 1st Marine Division
The corps on Friday said the Marines, all lance corporals, were charged with violating the Uniform Code of Military Justice by transporting or conspiring to transport immigrants in the country illegally.
Four other Marines who were also detained in the human smuggling investigation weren’t specifically charged with smuggling. They face other charges, including failure to obey orders, drunkenness, endangerment, larceny and perjury.
The Marine Corps says none of those charged were involved in the military support mission at the U.S.’ Southwest border.
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