Ruling threatens smuggling cases against Marines

Ruling threatens smuggling cases against Marines

Judge says it was illegal of Marine Corps to make mass arrests of Marines accused in smuggling probe during morning formation while leaders called them “a cancer” and “bad Marines”

The Marine Corps is at risk of losing its cases against 13 Marines accused of crimes tied to a human smuggling and drug investigation after a military judge ruled it was illegal to make the videotaped arrests during a morning battalion formation while leaders called them “a cancer” and “bad Marines.”

Maj. Kendra Motz said prosecutors at Marine Corps Camp Pendleton were meeting Tuesday to explore their options. Motz says she did not know what they were considering.

The judge gave prosecutors until Nov. 25 to offer a way to remedy the situation.

When ruling Friday, Marine Col. Stephen Keane said the actions amounted to unlawful command influence. That is when commanders use their positions of power to affect a case and compromise the ability for a fair trial.


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