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Illegal immigrants disguised as U.S. Marines fail to get through border checkpoint

Photo: Illegal Immigrants posing as US Marines arrested at border checkpoint. Credit: Department of Homeland Security Thirteen illegal immigrants disguised themselves as U.S. Marines –- donning battle dress uniforms and caps -- in a failed attempt to get through a  U.S. Border Patrol checkpoint last week east of San Diego, authorities said.

The driver of the white van carrying the immigrants and another man, both U.S. citizens, were arrested  March 14 at the I-8 checkpoint near Campo and charged with alien smuggling, according to U.S. Border Patrol officials.

Three of the illegal immigrants were detained as witnesses, while the rest were returned to Mexico, officials said.

The van drew suspicion in part because it had an altered U.S. Government license plate, authorities said. The investigation is being conducted by the Naval Criminal Investigative Service.

The immigrants all had Marine-style haircuts and the name tag "Perez" on the their camouflage uniforms, U.S. Marine Corps officials said.

Such ploys have a long history along the border. Over the years, immigrants have disguised themselves as hard-hatted contractors and utility repairmen, and smugglers have painted and placed decals on cars to look like Border Patrol or other government vehicles.

-- Richard Marosi and Tony Perry in San Diego

Photo: Illegal immigrants posing as U.S. Marines are arrested at the border checkpoint. Credit: Department of Homeland Security

Comments () | Archives (33)

Is there nothing these people won,t do to sneak in here. And yet Chief Charlie Beck lets them have a pass when stopped . Where is the law enforcement in this country? Are we in L.A. the next Mexico?

Wow! Can't believe there aren't any comments yet....

I say, send them to afganistan!

A van full of marines named "Perez"? Do they just think we're stupid? We need to start putting chips in them so they don't come back around again in a few months.

A van full of marines named "Perez"? Do they just think we're stupid? We need to start putting chips in them so they don't come back around again in a few months.

Illegals have been faking to be legals in this country for years, entering with fake cards and visa. So what's the surprise, really? It was just a matter of time that they faked being military. Besides immigration charges, they should all be prosecuted for impersonating military personnel under the Uniform Code of Military Justice. Whatever they're guilty of, they will all be let go anyway. That's part of our porous border. It's an F-N joke.

Possible theft of uniforms from an enlistedmen's locker.

i needed a good laugh for my daily stresses. lol. damn, those license plates look very legit.

Will the real slim shady please stand up, please stand up!

I think another question is were did they get that goverment license plate!

It is not fake, just altered.

There's no reply button that I can see, but I wanted to reply to Jose Gonzalez. That's too funny. But, you know that if they're in the military for a year or so, they all can become citizens. Anyway, I laughed when I read your suggestion, and you're right. They should be sent there.

Miltary members have sold their uniforms at local swap meets for years. I've seen just about everything being sold locally at a swap meet or online on craigslist. The use of the van and stolen GOA plates is pretty brazen.

once a marine alway a marine

How low can they possibley get ,Impersonating wearing the uniforms of our AMERICAN HEROS.lAWS HAVE ALSO BEEN BROKEN.I know that if a person wears a full military uniform theirs hell to pay if caught,But we know that if you are an Illegal you get a pass our laws do not appley to them If you were a mexican uniform for the sake of entering mexico , you will be charged with TERRORISM ,jailed and your family will never see you ever again,,,,These aliens need to be jailed and later deported,,,Again jail anyone that hires ,houses these people,,,,,they need to go home and demand everything that they demand from our country,,,,,,,,,SI SE PUEDE in your country We can't even afford our own much less Illegals,,,,,,,,,

You have to actually be in the military to be charged under the UCMJ

At least we could have smart illegals aliens. What a bunch of morons.

I say enlist them. :) Then they can earn their citizenship like many others have through the military.

Prefix on license plate indecetes vehicle type. G43 is 1 ton cargo truck. But they tried to cross border using van. So stupid :)

look immirgrants are the same as we are we all have the same insides just different on the outside i think everyone needs to give this immigration thing a rest and focus on more important things and they are not coming to our country to steal jobs from us they are coming here for a better oppertunity for them and there familys so they can have a good life like the rest of us so please leave them ALONE AND BY THE WAY THEY ARE NOT ANIMALS SO THEY DONT DESERVE A CHIP IN THEM LIKE A DOG THIS IS SUPPOSED TO BE THE LAND OF THE FREE NOT THE LAND OF SLAVES

The US govt. should bill the Mexican govt. for the cost of deporting their people back to Mexico. America is dead broke as it is. Either that, or bill their families for the expenses. Our govt. is way too lenient when illegals break the law but when we break it, they take everything that we have, and then some.

How about we sew those uniforms on them so they don't come off and drop them in areas of Afghanistan where the Taliban is really, really strong. If they make it back to the U.S. alive, we'll deport them back to Mexico, if not. . .problem solved!

As for the license plate. It looks pretty old. My guess is the vehicle it came from is in a military boneyard in San Diego. Maybe there's a Perez there who's missing a uniform or two?

NCIS is handling the investigation... Really? Last time I watched the show, they seemed to work much more important cases. Just like Hollywood to get it wrong again. Overpaid wanna-be cops.

ummmm, besides going to the strip-bars down there off duty, what would 13 Marines be in full battle dress and caps doing in Mexico while rolling around in an "official" government vehicle? Did they just come back from an Official tour to the strip-bar?

what a bunch of idiots

Yeah, lets put chips in them, as if Mexicans were dogs and not actual humans.... The amount of racism that spews out of the American public when something like this happens says everything about OUR country, not theirs. Why do we never ask WHY these people are willing to go to great personal risk to cross our border? Because we economically pillage their country, and use their land to import our drugs, leaving them poor, unemployed, and living in the midst of a drug war. I'm not saying there is an easy solution, and I think when they are caught like this they have to be sent home. But lets not villify desperate human beings who are trying to escape an impossible situation.

also, @teri, take a history class sometime, Los Angeles WAS Mexico for hundreds of years, before we took it from them by force, for no good reason except that we wanted more land.

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