A Camp Pendleton Marine whose disappearance prompted a nationwide search has been court martialed after investigators discovered he purchased a cache of weapons and ammunitions to allegedly hunt human traffickers along the U.S. and Mexico border.
Court documents obtained by NBC 7 reveal Lance Corporal Job Wallace was reported missing on Sept. 18, 2019, while on a planned trip to his parents' home in Surprise, Arizona. Wallace had left his parents' home two days earlier, telling them he was driving back to Camp Pendleton, California. However, when military leadership checked Wallace’s barracks, the room was empty.
In the days following his disappearance, Naval investigators from the Naval Criminal Investigative Service (NCIS) received a tip from Wallace’s brother that four weapons were missing from his house and that the Marine had talked about “getting rid of child traffickers.”
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Among the weapons missing from the home were an automatic rifle, semi-automatic shotgun, M14 rifle, and a 9MM pistol.
But according to the NCIS Investigation report which was attached to a recent gun violence restraining order filed by the city of San Diego, Wallace went shopping for more weapons.
On his way to hunt for child traffickers, Wallace stopped at two gun stores in Avendale, Arizona, where he purchased thousands of rounds of ammunition including a 50-round drum for an AR-15 semi-automatic rifle as well as another pistol. In all, the Marine spent nearly $5,000 at the two stores.
Law enforcement finally caught up with Wallace on Sept. 21, 2019, near a rest stop off of Interstate 45 outside of Richland, Texas.
It was then that Wallace informed investigators of his plan.
“[Wallace] admitted to purchasing several firearms and ammunition, with the intent to traverse the corridor between Dallas and Houston to identify and locate child human traffickers,” read the investigation report.
The investigation revealed that Wallace had planned to leave the Marine Corps while at his parents' house. Searches of the family computer showed Wallace had looked for information on “how to survive on the run, how to make money while homeless, and punishments received by military deserters.”
NCIS agents brought Wallace back to Camp Pendleton where a presiding officer ordered Wallace to remain in the brig until his court martial.
In a statement, a spokesperson for the 1st Marine Division said Wallace pleaded guilty to “violations of the Uniform Code of Military Justice” and is “currently being processed out of the Marine Corps.”