President Trump ran on the promise of securing the borders in 2016, and the number of illegal immigrants coming into America has gradually decreased over the past two years. However, the administration may now have a larger problem as some active duty service members have apparently been found transporting illegals for monetary gain.
Lance Cpls. Byron Darnell Law II and David Javier Salazar-Quintero, both active duty Marines stationed in Camp Pendleton, California, were arrested Monday and charged with transporting undocumented immigrants, The Washington Post reported.
Both men allegedly met a “recruiter” who would offer them money if they met at a certain predesignated location (usually a spot on the interstate) and picked up illegal immigrants. Once they dropped these individuals at another location, they would get paid.
According to NBC News, on July 3, under the cover of darkness, the two men were told to meet three illegal immigrants at Interstate 8 near Jacumba Hot Springs, Calif., and bring them to a McDonald’s parking lot a town over. The two military men were expecting to receive $1,000 each as payment.
The two Marines waited at the location for about 10 minutes before the three illegals hopped in the backseat of the driver’s black BMW. A Border Patrol agent happened to notice the car sitting there and saw shadows getting in the vehicle.
After the car drove away, the Border Patrol agent went to the scene and noticed footprints that he suspected were of illegal immigrants. He radioed ahead and told other units to be on the lookout for a black BMW.
A few minutes later, the vehicle was pulled over with the three suspected illegals still in the car. Law and Salazar-Quintero both reportedly blamed each other for their part in the transport when questioned at the scene.
In an interview, Salazar-Quintero claimed him and Law made two other previous trips just days prior to their arrest. The illegal immigrants were questioned, and it was determined that they were being charged $8,000 for passage to the United States. It’s unclear if they were to pay the Marines or someone else after they were dropped off.
The Marine Corps Times confirmed the two men are active duty riflemen. “We are aware of the charges facing Lance Cpl. Law and Lance Cpl. Salazar-Quintero, and we continue to cooperate fully with the investigative efforts into this matter,” a spokesperson told the outlet.