NewsTeam 10 Investigates


Camp Pendleton Marine accused of stealing ammo, dumping 12,000+ rounds and grenades

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Posted at 2:25 PM, May 26, 2021
and last updated 2021-05-26 19:18:05-04

CAMP PENDLETON, Calif. (KGTV) - New details are being released about a Camp Pendleton Marine who is accused of stealing ammo and keeping military explosives off-base. According to new military documents, the Marine had about 12,000 rounds of ammunition and three grenades.

This week, base officials told ABC 10News that Sergeant Gunnar Naughton is now scheduled for a general court-martial, the military's highest level trial court.

In charging documents just released to ABC 10News, the 28-year-old is accused of several counts related to stealing ammo and taking explosives. He's one of at least five Marines who have been under investigation, according to a source with close military ties, which ABC 10News first reported on in March.

One Marine allegedly tried to sell the ammo online but got caught in a sting operation that was set up by federal agents, the source said.

RELATED: Several Camp Pendleton Marines investigated for allegedly stealing ammo and explosives, per source

New records reveal that while on active duty at or near the base, Naughton allegedly stole "approximately 840 5.56 ammunition rounds" and failed to safeguard ammo on one of the ranges.

He's accused of obstructing justice by allegedly removing ammo cans from another Marine's house and telling an officer to delete his Signal and Whatsapp communications.

He's also accused of having explosive materials off-base in Fallbrook, including "powder used for blasting." Then, he allegedly tried to dump evidence into a ravine, including more than 12,000 rounds of ammunition, two military grenades, and an M83 smoke grenade.

A Camp Pendleton spokesperson said that Naughton's trial was scheduled for Friday but was moved to July. However, Naughton's attorney wrote to ABC 10News on Wednesday that a pre-trial agreement has been reached and a hearing for pleas and sentencing will happen in July.

San Diego attorney Bethany Payton-O'Brien previously told ABC 10News that she's representing a second Marine, Staff Sergeant Alexander Czub. She said that he was charged with obstruction of justice, although the base has not confirmed that. "We adamantly deny that he committed any obstruction of justice," she stated during the March interview.

A third attorney told ABC 10News in March that she's representing a third Marine who had not been charged but that he was looking forward to resolving the allegations against him.

NCIS has been overseeing the investigation but declined to offer any comment.

There is still no indication that the case is related to a separate case that ABC 10News first reported on in February where 10 pounds of C4 explosives reportedly went missing from a Marine base in Twentynine Palms.