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California recon Marine charged with dumping thousands of rounds of stolen ammo, grenades

A Marine sergeant with 1st Reconnaissance Battalion, stationed on Camp Pendleton, California, has been charged with dumping thousands of rounds of ammunition into a California ravine.

Marine Sgt. Gunnar Naughton, 28, a recon Marine, has been referred to a general court-martial for the unlawful dumping the ammunition, along with two specifications of obstruction of justice, one count of dereliction in the performance of duties, one charge of larceny and one specification of Article 134, commonly known as the general article.

The court-martial will kick off July 1, Marine spokesman 2nd Lt. Kyle McGuire told Marine Corps Times in a Tuesday evening email.

The Marine is currently being held in the brig at Camp Pendleton, California.

The Marine was arrested as part of a sting by federal agents, which allegedly caught Marines trying to sell ammunition and explosives online, ABC News San Diego first reported in March.

In total, Naughton has been charged with dumping 3,724 cartridges of 5.56 ammunition with a value of about $1,079; 6,000 cartridges of .45 caliber ammunition with a value of about $2,041; 1,826 cartridges of 9 mm ball ammunition with a value of about $401; 120 cartridges of 12 gauge ammunition with a value of about $60; 160 cartridges of 12 gauge door breaching ammunition with a value of about $350; 80 cartridges of frangible 5.56 ammunition with a value of about $31; 200 cartridges of 9 mm hollow point ammunition with a value of about $70; two grenades and one smoke grenade, according to the charge sheet.

In addition to the ammunition dumping, Naughton is accused of stealing roughly 840 5.56 rounds on “divers occasions between on or about 1 November, 2020 and on or about 3 February, 2021,” the charge sheet read.

Naughton allegedly removed ammo cans from the residence of a staff sergeant “with intent to obstruct the due administration of justice in the case” of a corporal whose name was redacted in the charge sheet.

Naughton is also accused of telling a Navy petty officer 3rd class to delete conversations on Signal and WhatsApp that would be incriminating for the unnamed corporal.

The Corps originally accused Naughton of stealing a Beretta 9 mm pistol, but dismissed the charge without prejudice, according to the charge sheet.

Naughton enlisted in the Marine Corps out of Kansas in 2015 and originally was assigned as a chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear defense specialist with the Marine incident response force in Indian Head, Maryland.

He joined the 1st Recon Battalion in November 2019, according to his service record.

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