24 Marines discharged over human and drug trafficking charges

CAMP PENDLETON (KUSI) – Camp Pendleton has issued less-than-honorable discharges to at least 24 Marines after accusations of human trafficking and drug-related charges.

This is the latest in a string of arrests beginning last year in connection a smuggler identified as Francisco Rojas. Military prosecutors dropped most of the charges after a judge rules the arrest of the 16 Marines in front of their battalion was unlawful.

Rojas was arrested on Thursday after being connected to the two dozen Marines accused of smuggling immigrants for financial gain. Prosecutors say Rojas was recruiting Camp Pendleton Marines to help in transporting and trafficking people across the border.

Sources say due to the varying levels of crimes committed, nine cases went to court-martial and eight pleaded guilty to the charges, with at least one person serving 18 months.

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