Thirteen Camp Pendleton, California, Marines have been charged with various offenses related to alleged involvement in human smuggling operations, according to the 1st Marine Division.
The charges involved include failure to obey an order, drunkenness, endangerment offenses, larceny, perjury and general article or Article 134, according to a Friday news release.
The Article 134 charge is specifically related to “alleged transporting and/or conspiring to transport undocumented immigrants,” a release said.
Maj. Kendra Motz, a spokeswoman for the 1st Marine Division, told Marine Corps Times that all the charges at this time are preferred and the Marines will face an Article 32 hearing at another date. During that hearing a preliminary hearing officer will determine whether the Marines will face a court-martial and what charges will may go forward, if any.
The arrests follow the July 3 detention of two Marine grunts near the U.S.-Mexico border by Border Patrol.
Twelve of the Marines charged hail from 1st Battalion, 5th Marines, and one Marine is assigned to 1st Battalion, 1st Marines, the release said.
The Marine assigned to 1st Battalion, 1st Marines, was detained by Border Patrol on July 10. That Marine has been charged with endangerment offenses, failure to obey an order and general article, according to the release.
Five lance corporals have been charged with general article only, three lance corporals have been charged with perjury only, one lance corporal has been charged with drunkenness only, and one lance corporal has been charged with larceny, failure to obey an order and general article, the news release detailed.
Naval Criminal Investigative Service conducted a mass arrest of 16 Marines during a battalion formation on July 25 following the July 3 arrest by Border Patrol agents of two Marines, Lance Cpl. Byron Darnell Law II and Lance Cpl. David Javier Salazar-Quintero, near the U.S.-Mexico border.
Both Marines, who are assigned to 1st Battalion, 5th Marines, were detained for allegedly smuggling three undocumented immigrants near the U.S.-Mexico border for financial gain, court documents detail.
The Corps previously had said the July 25 mass arrest was launched following information gleaned from a previous investigation.
Law and Salazar-Quintero have been charged with general article, according to the release.
Ten of the 13 charged Marines were detained during the July 25 mass arrest.
The 1st Marine Division said none of the Marines charged were assisting the southwest border support mission.
It is unknown if the 13 charged Marines are still in the brig in pretrial confinement. Marine Corps Times has reached out to the 1st Marine Division regarding the status of their confinement and has yet to receive a response.
As of Aug. 12, the Corps had said 12 Marines were confined to the Camp Pendleton brig for their alleged involvement in human smuggling operations. Ten of those Marines were arrested during the July 25 mass arrest.
The other two in detention were Law and Salazar-Quintero, who were arrested on July 3. All twelve Marines, reported to still be detained as of Aug. 12 were assigned to 1st Battalion, 5th Marines.
The July 10 detention of a Marine from 1st Battalion, 1st Marines has not previously been reported.