Two Camp Pendleton Marines are accused of transporting undocumented immigrants along the U.S.-Mexico border near Tecate.
U.S. Border Patrol agents arrested Lance Corporals Byron Law II and David Salazar-Quintero on July 3 in east San Diego County. The agents reportedly saw three undocumented immigrants jump into the Marines’ car on Interstate 8, just north of the border.
According to a federal complaint, the undocumented immigrants told border agents they had agreed to pay the Marines $8,000 to take them north from the border to Los Angeles, eventually intending to head to New Jersey.
In an interview with agents after the arrest, Law allegedly confessed it wasn’t the first time he and Salazar-Quintero had transported undocumented immigrants for cash. Law admitted to transporting another undocumented immigrant the night before from the Jacumba exit on the Interstate 8 freeway to a McDonald’s in Del Mar.
Salazar-Quintero also admitted he had transported undocumented immigrants on three other occasions.
On Monday, the Marines were arraigned on a felony charge of transporting undocumented immigrants for financial gain.
A Camp Pendleton spokesperson told NBC 7 that his command is “aware of the charges facing Lance Cpl. Law and Lance Cpl. Salazar-Quintero,” and that they will “continue to cooperate fully with the investigative efforts into this matter.”
Military records show both Marines enlisted in 2017 and were members of the 1st Battalion, 5th Marine Regiment. They were listed as Riflemen and both had won the National Defense Service Medals, and the Global War on Terrorism Service Medals.