Two Marines Arrested for Allegedly Smuggling Migrants Across Border

Mairead McArdle

Two U.S. Marines in California were arrested last week and charged with smuggling undocumented immigrants across the southern border, according to reports.

Border Patrol agents arrested Marine Lance Corporals Byron Law II and David Salazar-Quintero of Camp Pendleton on July 3, after apprehending them in their car with three undocumented immigrants, who informed authorities they were citizens of Mexico without documentation.

Border authorities had observed the three migrants getting into the Marines’ car when it pulled over near a frequent “pickup” spot for migrants on Interstate 8, about 20 miles east of the Tecate port of entry and seven miles north of the U.S.–Mexico border.

The active-duty soldiers face the federal charge of “transportation of certain aliens for financial gain.” Both confessed to authorities that they have transported migrants more than once, including the previous day.

Two of the migrants “stated they were going to pay $8,000 to be smuggled into the United States” and were trying to get to Los Angeles and then New Jersey, the complaint said.

Camp Pendleton will “continue to cooperate fully with the investigative efforts into this matter,” according to a spokesperson for the base.

Both soldiers enlisted in 2017 and have won the National Defense Service Medal and the Global War on Terrorism Service Medal.

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