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Charges pending against 12 Marines in migrant smuggling case

Posted: 1:18 PM, Aug 12, 2019
Updated: 2019-08-12 18:23:23-04
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SAN DIEGO (AP and KGTV) — Marine Corps officials say charges are pending against 12 Camp Pendleton Marines accused of being involved in smuggling, including driving migrants across the US-Mexico border.

The Marines, who are part of the 1st Battalion, 5th Marine Regiment, are in confinement, officials said.

Those being held include two Marine riflemen who were stopped by U.S. Border Patrol agents on July 3 driving from the border with three Mexicans in the back of a BMW. That led to the additional arrests. The two Marines pleaded not guilty in federal court.

The remaining 10 Marines were among those detained July 25 on base, according to Marine Corps officials.

RELATED: 16 Camp Pendleton-based Marines arrested following human smuggling investigation

"Each case and alleged level of participation varies among the individual Marines and Sailor," military officials said.

The Marine Corps said Monday that six other Marines and one sailor detained last month have been released and returned to their command at Camp Pendleton.

Officials gave no further details about the others.