Nine Marines at California’s Camp Pendleton base have been charged with human smuggling.
They include two riflemen who were stopped by U.S. Border Patrol agents on July 3 driving from the US-Mexico border with three Mexicans in the back of a BMW.
The corps on Friday said the Marines, all lance corporals, were charged with violating the Uniform Code of Military Justice by transporting or conspiring to transport undocumented immigrants.
Four other Marines who were also detained in the human smuggling investigation weren’t specifically charged with smuggling but face other charges, including failure to obey orders, drunkenness, endangerment, larceny and perjury.
The Marine Corps says none of those charged were involved in the military support mission at the U.S. southwest border.