Marine Corps decision to record and release video of 15 Marines being arrested was wrong, lawyers say


Photographs and video of the mass arrest of over fifteen US Marines in July have surfaced, showing the men being taken into custody as over eight-hundred of their fellow Marines look on.

The July 25 incident took place at Camp Pendleton, California, when 24 Marines were ordered to the front, with a second order designating fifteen of them to be recognized.

Carrying a red folder generally associated with awards, the battalion sergeant major watched carefully.



When the men stepped forward, Regimental Sergeant Major Matthew Dorsey pointed to them and gave the most chilling of commands.

“NCIS,” he bellowed to members of the Navy’s investigative division. “Arrest these Marines”

Out of nowhere, around 40 military law enforcement agents swarmed upon the formation, taking fifteen into custody.


In the end, thirteen were charged with human smuggling and conspiracy, and eight more were taken away for questioning. The remaining eight were suspected of various drug activity.

According to the San Diego Union Tribune, the defense attorneys of several of the arrested Marines objected to the filming of the arrest by the USMC, arguing that such an act is akin to using command authority to influence the outcome of a case.

“The government’s actions in this battalion formation arrest and their post-arrest comments to the battalion are wholly unacceptable and inappropriate,” said attorney Bethany Payton-O’Brien


The military, however, has insisted that the recording was for accountability purposes, and that the publicization of the arrests was intentional- and a message to Marines that consider taking up a life of crime while in uniform.

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