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Video shows July mass arrest of Marines accused of human smuggling at Camp Pendleton

Andrew Dyer, The San Diego Union-Tribune on

Published in News & Features

In her motion her client, a Marine corporal, said he heard either Dorsey or the battalion commanding officer, Lt. Col. Eric M. Olson, tell the assembled Marines that the arrests are "what happens when you break the law."

A spokesman for the 1st Marine Division, 1st Lt. Cameron Edinburgh, told the Union-Tribune on Tuesday that the video came from the division's communication strategy office, which serves in a public affairs capacity for the division.

The decision to film the arrests by Marine public relations did not come from division commanders, Edinburgh said.

"It was something we felt should be done for proper visibility," Edinburgh said.

In the video, Olson addresses the battalion once the arrested Marines are hauled off. The audio is difficult to hear at some points, but Olson says "what you just saw ... these Marines are a distraction to leadership and readiness."

Olson also tells the Marines that those arrested will be held accountable.


These comments, according to Payton-O'Brien, violate the Uniform Code of Military Justice.

"The government's actions in this battalion formation arrest and their post-arrest comments to the battalion are wholly unacceptable and inappropriate," she said.

The Marines released charge sheets for 13 Marines on Tuesday but redacted the names of the accused. Each of the Marines is being tried separately, Edinburgh said.

Because the names of those Marines have not been released, the Union-Tribune is withholding the name of Payton-O'Brien's client.


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