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Most Marines won't face criminal trials in California probe

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Posted at 8:05 PM, Dec 06, 2019

CAMP PENDLETON, Calif. (AP) - Most of the Marines who were labeled as criminals in front of their colleagues at Camp Pendleton after a human smuggling probe won't go to court.

The Marine Corps announced Tuesday that six Marines have pleaded guilty to various charges in courts-martial but 13 will be dealt with administratively and allowed to leave the service.

The Marines were pulled from formation at the Southern California camp in July. That came after two other Marines were arrested at a San Diego border checkpoint with three Mexican passengers in their car.

Some Marines in formation were berated and handcuffed on suspicion of crimes ranging from human trafficking to drug and weapons charges.

But last month a military judge said the public arrests violated their rights, putting the criminal cases in jeopardy.