13 Marines Charged in Human Smuggling Investigation

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More than a dozen U.S. marines are facing criminal charges in a human smuggling investigation, after Border Patrol agents caught two of them—Lance Corporals Byron D. Law and David J. Salazar-Quintero—transporting three undocumented immigrants in early July. Law and Salazar-Quintero have been charged with “transportation of aliens for financial gain and aiding and abetting.”

Ten more Marines from the same division as Law and Salazar-Quintero face formal charges, the Marine Corps announced Friday. They had been detained back on July 25 by the Naval Criminal Investigative Service (NCIS). One other Marine, from a different division, was also detained by the NCIS.

There’s no word from NCIS or the Marines on the names of the other suspects. But authorities said all 13 had been charged under the Uniform Code of Military Justice, and at least five face charges for direct involvement in human smuggling.

Other suspects face charges for drug offenses, failure to obey orders, drunkenness, endangerment, larceny, and perjury.

All of the suspects were stationed at the Camp Pendleton Marine Corps base in San Diego.

“Law and Salazar-Quintero were initially charged in federal court but the case has since been turned over to the Marine Corps,” CBS reports. But the PACER system still lists the federal criminal case as being open, with a next motion hearing set for October 28 before District Judge Marilyn L. Huff.

Meanwhile, another Marine from Camp Pendleton had to be hunted down after he ditched base to go rogue and “get rid of child traffickers at the border,” as an FBI report put it.

“Job Wallace, a Marine Corps Lance Corporal, did not return to base at Camp Pendleton in California after his authorized leave ended on Sept. 17,” The Daily Beast noted this weekend. “A day later, an automatic rifle, an M14 rifle, a semi-automatic shotgun, and a pistol, all belonging to Wallace, were reported missing” and “a vehicle with his license plate number was photographed at the Fort Hancock Border Patrol checkpoint in Texas on Sept. 17.”

NCIS took Wallace into custody on Saturday night.


The latest poll results are in, with more good news for Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D–Mass.) and Mayor Pete Buttigieg and more bad news for Sen. Kamala Harris (D–Calif.) and Joe Biden.


In other polling news: 69 percent of voters in the latest NBC/Wall Street Journal poll said that regardless of how they feel about Trump administration policies, they do not approve of Trump as a person.

“The poll found Trump’s approval rating rests at 45%, which is on par with where Barack Obama and Bill Clinton stood at this point in their presidencies,” notes Axios. But Trump’s personal dislike rating is at a record high:

Previously, the highest share of voters that said they disliked the president personally, regardless of their views on his policies, was 42% for George W. Bush in 2006—in the wake of Hurricane Katrina.



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