Illegal Immigrants Caught in Marine Uniforms

By Lindsay Hood
|  Wednesday, Mar 23, 2011  |  Updated 10:54 AM PDT
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Border Patrol agents in San Diego say they have caught 13 illegal immigrants wearing U.S. Marine uniforms.

Agents found the group after approaching a suspicious parked van with altered U.S. government license plates on March 14, agency spokesperson Michael Jimenez said Tuesday.

Jimenez said it's not known where the group obtained the American military uniforms.

Two U.S. citizens inside the van were also arrested, agents said.

The Naval Criminal Investigative Service is handling the investigation. Navy investigators referred calls to Washington, D.C., and no one could be reached for comment late Tuesday.

Jimenez says two U.S. citizens who were with the immigrants were arrested on suspicion of alien smuggling. He says three of the illegal immigrants are being held in federal custody as witnesses and the others have been returned to Mexico, their country of origin.

"This effort is an example of the lengths smugglers will go to avoid detection, and the skilled and effective police work and vigilance displayed everyday by Customs and Border Protection personnel," a Border Patrol spokesperson said.

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