Video shows 16 US Marines being arrested during formation in connection with a human smuggling ring

source
The San Diego Union-Tribune/YouTube

  • Newly released video shows 16 US Marines being detained during their formation at Camp Pendleton, in San Diego, on July 25.
  • The videos, obtained by The San Diego Union-Tribune, showed the Marines being handcuffed by Naval Criminal Investigative Service agents in front of their peers at parade rest.
  • The Union-Tribune reported that the Marines’ arrests were the result of an investigation into a human smuggling ring.
  • Attorneys representing two of the Marines told The Union-Tribune that their clients’ arrests violated the Uniform Code of Military Justice.
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Newly released video shows 16 US Marines being detained during their formation at Camp Pendleton, in San Diego, on July 25.

The videos, obtained by The San Diego Union-Tribune, showed the Marines being handcuffed by Naval Criminal Investigative Service agents in front of their peers at parade rest. The newspaper reported that the Marines’ arrests were a result of an investigation into a human smuggling ring.

Roughly 40 investigators detained the Marines, who were called in front of the formation “to be recognized,” The Union-Tribune reported, citing court filings.

“NCIS, arrest these Marines,” Sgt. Maj. Matthew Dorsey said.

Attorneys representing two of the Marines told The Union-Tribune that their clients’ arrests violated the Uniform Code of Military Justice. They described the arrests as pretrial punishment and unlawful command influence, a term that refers to military leaders abusing their position to influence the outcome of legal proceedings.

Thirteen lance corporals from the 1st Marine Division were charged with offenses including human smuggling, larceny, drunkenness, and perjury, Stars and Stripes reported in September.

Two lance corporals were arrested earlier in July after Customs and Border Protection agents saw them pick up people thought to be undocumented immigrants at the nearby resort community of Jacumba Hot Springs, The Union-Tribune reported. The two were charged with trying to smuggle three people across the US-Mexico border, which is considered a federal crime.

The Marines said it was during the investigation into the two lance corporals that investigators found other Marines who were also implicated.

A study by the US Sentencing Commission found that in 2018 the average age of a human smuggler in the US was 33 and that over 75% of the smugglers were men. Roughly 58% “had little or no prior criminal history,” the commission said, adding that the average sentence for all smugglers was 16 months.