16 Marines arrested on human smuggling, drug charges, Corps announces

Abbie Bennett
July 25, 2019 - 2:59 pm

Photo courtesy of DVIDS

Sixteen Camp Pendleton, Calif. Marines were arrested Thursday morning on drug and human smuggling charges, the Corps announced.

Officials from 1st Marine Division working with the Naval Criminal Investigative Service (NCIS) arrested the Marines during battalion formation. 

The Marines were arrested "for alleged involvement in various illegal activities ranging from human smuggling to drug-related offenses," according to a Corps news release. "Information gained from a previous human smuggling investigation precipitated the arrests." 

Another eight Marines were taken for questioning on their alleged involvement in drug offenses unrelated to the arrests Thursday. 

None of the Marines arrested or detained for questioning were serving as part of the Southwest Border Support mission, the news release said. 

"1st Marine Division is committed to justice and the rule of law, and we will continue to fully cooperate with NCIS on this matter," the Corps said in its release. "Any Marines found to be in connection with these alleged activities will be questioned and handled accordingly with respect to due process."

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