Sixteen U.S. Marines have been arrested at Camp Pendleton in connection with crimes ranging from drug-related offenses to human smuggling, according to authorities.
The Marines were arrested during battalion formation Thursday based on information gained from a previous human smuggling investigation, NBC San Diego reported.
U.S. Border Patrol agents arrested Lance Corporals Byron Law II and David Salazar-Quintero on July 3 in east San Diego County, the station reported. The agents reportedly saw three undocumented immigrants jump into the Marines’ car on Interstate 8, just north of the border.
A federal complaint cited by NBC San Diego said the undocumented immigrants told border agents they had agreed to pay the Marines $8,000 to take them north from the border to Los Angeles. They eventually intended to head to New Jersey.
An additional eight Marines were questioned on alleged drug offenses but officials say that investigation is not related to Thursday’s arrests.