Current, former Marines caught up in alleged crime ring
June 6th, 2013
05:41 PM ET

Current, former Marines caught up in alleged crime ring

By Barbara Starr

Seven active Marines, seven former Marines and a Navy sailor were among 50 people arrested in a sweeping Southern California raid aimed at shutting down a network that allegedly dealt in stolen cars, drugs, weapons and other military gear.

San Diego County District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis announced 64-count indictment that followed an eight-month undercover operation. Arraignments occurred on Thursday after a series of arrests earlier in the week as part of a law enforcement effort code-named "Operation Perfect Storm."

Charges include vehicle theft, insurance fraud, sales of cocaine and methamphetamine, sale of high-capacity ammunition magazines, illegal gun possession, burglary, possession of stolen military equipment and insurance fraud.

Authorities said undercover law enforcement operatives infiltrated criminal groups in the San Diego area.

Suspects were invited to an undercover storefront where they allegedly sold detectives stolen vehicles, firearms, narcotics and military grade equipment. The activity was videotaped.

The military gear included more than 10,000 rounds of ammunition, high capacity magazines, bullet-proof vests, Kevlar helmets, night vision goggles, gas masks, and thermal sights.

The operation involved local law enforcement as well as the Naval Criminal Investigative Service and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.

Ninety-two stolen vehicles were recovered.

soundoff (333 Responses)
  1. Andrew

    Use this in thr traing seminars. Let us move past this in the Marines. The Marines are solid to the core and lets bring that back at all costs.

    April 5, 2014 at 1:00 am | Reply
  2. In home personal training

    So sad the people have to resort to this level of life. This was a mini black market in the middle of being created. I'm glad we were able to put
    these guys away. it makes you think thou how often this happens and we just never know about it.

    April 3, 2014 at 10:20 am | Reply
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    June 21, 2013 at 11:01 am | Reply
  4. george

    Shocking there are gangs in the US military wake up everyone these aren't choir boys

    June 13, 2013 at 7:51 pm | Reply
  5. Nancy Marquez

    At this point in time, we really can never tell when and how danger will come to us. Crime rates are rapidly growing and worse, even those people trusted by law could also be one of them. Fortunately, I found this service that caters a Panic Button installed on the phone which you may press when you are in danger or in emergency. It uses GPS technology to keep track of your location so if help is needed, it will surely come to you. By pressing the Panic Button, you can also notify your safety network that you need help. It doesn't guarantee that you won't be a victim but it will enable you to be rescued.

    June 13, 2013 at 10:14 am | Reply
  6. MC

    ARMY STRONG!!

    June 11, 2013 at 10:23 am | Reply
  7. mexicanstaking over

    if look at photos about 90 % are mexicans..... mexican are corrupt when the get into high offices from city of bell, bell gardens, maywood, all of the cities in southern California, this is what america is becoming , this is only the beginning !

    June 11, 2013 at 1:15 am | Reply
  8. JB

    Nothing new in the Border areas / States.

    June 10, 2013 at 11:52 pm | Reply
  9. Yuck

    Look up the word liberal,and find out what it means

    June 10, 2013 at 6:56 pm | Reply
    • Andrew

      I suggest you also look up the word Liberal in the dictionary; it certainly has a special meaning to you I guess.

      June 11, 2013 at 11:08 pm | Reply
  10. Heywood Jablowme

    But, but, but... they're heroes.

    June 10, 2013 at 9:32 am | Reply
  11. sawolf

    Send them Leavenworth , making small rocks from big ones.

    June 10, 2013 at 8:33 am | Reply
  12. Martin

    A man has to make a living somehow.

    June 10, 2013 at 2:45 am | Reply
  13. Andrew

    hmmm I don't think Islam is Liberal as you seem to think it is.hey; fundamental Conservative not Liberal get it straight ok.

    June 9, 2013 at 5:13 pm | Reply
  14. jimmyt

    Having spent 20 years in the US Navy as a supply guy, I can tell you that unless it can be proven beyond a doubt that the items are military property, these guys will walk. Military supply manuals dictate that if an item appears to be a military item but is NOT serialized and traceable back to military custody, then it is considered to be the private property of the individual that possesses it because untold thousands of items just like it have been sold to the civilian market via DPDO/DRMO sales.

    June 9, 2013 at 7:44 am | Reply
    • Nate

      Everyone of those Kevlar plates has a serial number.

      June 10, 2013 at 2:15 pm | Reply
    • Brian P

      Don't they still put NSN numbers on Military assets? That's how they know where the stuff came from. I was at a gun show where a booth owner had boxes full of used M-16/AR-15 30 rnd magazines. They all had NSN numbers stamped on the bottom. They pointed it out to people so they would know they were once owned and used by the Military.

      June 10, 2013 at 10:43 pm | Reply
      • jimmyt

        Yes, an NSN is likely attached to the item. However, that is not how military items are tracked due to the fact that millions of NSN tagged items are sold to the public every year at regional disposal offices. The item must have a serial number attached in order to determine if its current military property. I have personally testified at military court marshals as to the statements above, and watched as accused active duty military men were acquitted of theft of military property because of the non serial number issue. Unless you catch them in the act, once the stolen item is in civilian circulation, it is deemed private property, unless that is, the item has a serial number and can be tracked....

        June 11, 2013 at 6:19 pm |
  15. Michael Ruzicho

    You have bad apples in every bunch.

    June 9, 2013 at 1:45 am | Reply
    • Banana Juice

      How true, but this is truly a sad day for the U.S.Marines.

      June 9, 2013 at 5:20 pm | Reply
  16. Chris

    Insurance fraud, twice!!! Must have been really bad. Nice editing, btw...

    June 8, 2013 at 4:25 pm | Reply
  17. Regular Joe

    Some more imagined good guys huh?
    when its all said and done – everyone is working an angle.
    You can pee down someone else's back and tell them you're just a good guy with a gun. not this cowboy ...duh-huh!

    June 8, 2013 at 3:28 pm | Reply
  18. rxlawdude

    The Few. The Proud?

    June 8, 2013 at 2:55 pm | Reply
  19. GI Joe

    It's my understanding a lot of kids are caught for using drugs and the judge says "Jail or Military Service".

    In fact, that's how Palin's kid decided to join the service. See how it happens?

    June 8, 2013 at 2:36 pm | Reply
    • Fish

      Yeah, that doesn't happen anymore. Maybe you should brush up on your education. And Palin's kid didn't get the "military or jail" BS either. This isn't 1963.

      June 10, 2013 at 11:21 am | Reply
      • Andrew

        Well said although in some parts of the country it still is 1963.

        June 10, 2013 at 4:40 pm |
  20. Hypatia

    That puts a new spin on "send in the Marines". The few, the proud, the crinimal...

    June 8, 2013 at 2:18 pm | Reply
    • ES

      First: Those involved should and will be held accountable under two sets of laws...civilian and the military UCMJ. The proud history of the Marines should not be soiled by the actions of a few. How many have died protecting your freedoms?

      Second: The word criminal is spelled as such...not (crinimal) as YOU spelled it. You illiterate turd. What do you do for a living? Flip burgers...paper or plastic?

      June 9, 2013 at 6:08 am | Reply
      • Warrior

        Well said! 14 years in the Marine Corps and yes, I've seen some that ended up on the wrong side. However, out of the thousands I came into contact with, it was only a very who went bad. Most are made up of outstanding moral fiber.

        June 10, 2013 at 3:19 pm |
  21. Nick G

    Opium export has tripled after U.S. Invasion...uhhhh. Opium production in Afghanistan was eradicated down to 5% of world supply before the invasion, afterwards, and currently it supplies 90-95% of the worlds opium (Illegal heroin). Apparently the "war on drugs" isn't taken too serious. US soldiers actually patrol Poppy fields, and claim they have higher priorities. Supposedly they are not they to eradicate drugs....

    June 8, 2013 at 2:03 pm | Reply
    • Colin

      Yeah, Karzai's brother is the no. 1 Drug Lord in the region. The Bush administration was a key backer in setting him up.

      June 8, 2013 at 2:36 pm | Reply
    • gary greaves

      nick g from Metairie?

      June 10, 2013 at 7:30 am | Reply
  22. ironwolf56

    Wait...they're just NOW shutting this down? Seriously when I was stationed in 29 Palms from 2000-2002 this was a pretty well-known thing already. Everybody knew all the LA gangs would send some of their members to the Marines to get trained and expand their connections.

    June 8, 2013 at 1:21 pm | Reply
    • migunbog

      It was a problem further back....i heard about it when i was in 29 stumps back in 86.

      June 9, 2013 at 11:43 am | Reply
  23. Larry L

    Civilians forget that the military draws many of it's recruits from environments of poverty and crime. We do a pretty good job of helping these young people make better choices but many time the culture of a lifetime is tough to resist. Some of our recruits are long-time criminals who simply haven't been caught – yet...

    June 8, 2013 at 12:30 pm | Reply
    • ironwolf56

      POVERTY and crime? Was the poverty part really necessary? Really? I came from a pretty poor family, but the worst any member of my family (I'm talking even extended family here) had ever done was get a speeding ticket; so how about you stop assuming those of us from poverty are automatically linked to crime as well.

      June 8, 2013 at 1:23 pm | Reply
      • motorfirebox

        Good for you and your family. The fact remains, poverty and crime go hand in hand, and always have.

        June 8, 2013 at 1:56 pm |
      • whatguy

        Statistically speaking, most criminals that are not white collar criminals, so violent crime etc, tend to come from a background of poverty. Most people see gang violence and think in racial terms, which is incorrect, it is the poverty of the area that tends to create the gang problem, not race of the gang members. Many see the crime as the only way to get ahead because they start so far behind. A "war on poverty" would be much more effective than a "war on crime". If we could encourage and teach the poor in supporting themselves in a legal way it would be huge. However it would cripple the multi-billion dollar a year prison industrial complex so it won't happen.

        June 8, 2013 at 2:42 pm |
    • Warrior

      You have no idea what you are talking about. I spent time as a Marine Corps Recruiter and most are certainly not poor, but so what if there were, and the Marines does not accept criminals. You may be able to go in on a waiver if it was a non-violent misdemeanor charge, such as MIP. DUI, scratch! Domestic violence, scratch!

      June 10, 2013 at 3:23 pm | Reply
    • Brian P

      A better way to state it is that the Military has many members who are way underpaid, and who will find ways to supplement their income by stealing and selling Military assets.

      June 10, 2013 at 10:46 pm | Reply
  24. Jar Head

    What do you do when a Marine throws a grenade at you? You pull the pin and throw it back!

    June 8, 2013 at 12:29 pm | Reply
  25. Frenchy Pacella

    Vox populi, vox ego

    June 8, 2013 at 12:14 pm | Reply
  26. captain

    Drugs? That's why Bushs WH boys went to Afghanistan – opium trade has tripled since invading Afghanistan. Senior likes his coke and Cheney his crack (see Trance-Formation of America by Cathy O'Brien and Mark Philips for info.).
    Same for Vietnam – it was to save American businessmen's tin and plywood investments – and the coke and pot!
    Drugs are brought into the states hidden in the bodies of the soldiers killed in these bogus wars (see Veterans Today for reports). This is how sick the past WH residents are.
    And yes, the Bush WH did 9/11 – aided by Silverstein (who now controls the site) and Mossad. CIA confirms. See VT again.

    June 8, 2013 at 11:49 am | Reply
    • runfaster1029

      Captain.....you are clearly ignorant!

      June 8, 2013 at 1:56 pm | Reply
    • whatguy

      Yes, because coke and crack are opiates... a more likely conspiracy theory for you would be that most of the US's foreign debt is held by the chinese government, the chinese government needed more opium to control their billions of people since the chinese are one of the biggest markets for opium, so they had the US go in and secure the world supply of it for them.

      Again a made up conspiracy theory with little to no basis in fact (only facts are on debt and world usage of opium) but at least it made more sense than your made up theory!

      June 8, 2013 at 2:45 pm | Reply
    • hey

      captain your tin foil hat is showing 9/11 was in the name of islam if you believe george bush caused 9/11 you are a dumb liberal. Stop watching south park.

      June 8, 2013 at 10:54 pm | Reply
      • cman

        Bush didn't cause it, but seen a good business deal in making war and fattening his retirement folio. same with Chaney, the most dangerous VP in history, and a world class villain. Both should be hunted down like OBL, and given a deep six funeral.

        June 9, 2013 at 1:56 am |
    • ginger315

      Will you EVER stop bringing Bush into every conversation blaming him for everything? It's so old and so outdated. Wake up, it's 2013!

      June 10, 2013 at 6:41 am | Reply
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