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16 Marines arrested from human smuggling to drug-related offenses

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CAMP PENDLETON, Calif.  (WTVO) — Sixteen U.S. Marines were arrested Thursday for allegations ranging from human smuggling to drug-related offenses, according to a statement from the Marine Corps.

Fox 5 reports that the arrests took place in a dramatic fashion during a battalion formation Thursday morning.

Two Pendleton Marines were already arrested on July 3 for suspicion of smuggling people into the country for money. The two Marines had been pulled over near the border with three undocumented immigrants in the backseat.

“Information gained from a previous human smuggling investigation precipitated the arrests,” the Marine Corps statement said, though it wasn’t immediately clear if that referred to the July 3 arrests.

Thursday’s operation was the result of an investigation involving the 1st Marine Division and Naval Criminal Investigative Service, officials said. “None of the Marines arrested or detained for questioning served in support of the Southwest Border Support mission,” the statement added.

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