The U.S. Marine Corps said the 16 Marines were arrested during morning battalion formation at Camp Pendleton in San Diego County.
Sixteen Marines were arrested during morning battalion formation at Camp Pendleton on Thursday for alleged involvement in illegal activities ranging from human smuggling to drug-related offenses, according to the U.S. Marine Corps.
The Marines were taken into custody at the military base in San Diego County, the Marine statement said.
In addition, eight other Marines were questioned about their involvement in separate alleged drug offenses, officials said.
CNN reported that the arrests are related to an incident this month in which two Marines from Camp Pendleton were charged with transporting undocumented immigrants for financial gain.
Byron Darnell Law II and David Javier Salazar-Quintero were charged in federal court in San Diego two weeks ago on one felony count each of transporting unauthorized immigrants for financial gain, The San Diego Union Tribune reported.
Law and Salazar-Quintero were arrested while allegedly transporting immigrants north of the U.S.-Mexico border, according to court documents.
In the complaint, Law told authorities that Salazar-Quintero had offered to pay him $1,000 to pick up an undocumented immigrant and drive him away from the border. Salazar-Quintero, however, said he had been recruited into the smuggling operation by Law.
The Marines statement Thursday did not elaborate on the alleged offenses or where they occurred but said none of those arrested or detained for questioning served in support of the Southwest Border Support mission.
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