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Marine reservist sentenced for mishandling secret documents, possessing machine gun

October 23, 2009 |  5:28 pm

A senior enlisted Marine at Camp Pendleton was sentenced today to a reduction in rank and 60 days confinement after a court martial found him guilty of removing classified documents from files and possessing an unauthorized machine gun.

The same jury on Thursday acquitted Master Sgt. Reinaldo Pagan, a reservist, of other counts involving the alleged mishandling of intelligence files about possible terrorist activities in Southern California.

Pagan, a police officer in the Northern California city of Hayward, is the latest Marine to stand trial in a case involving the alleged leaking of files to the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department.

Pagan was ordered reduced in rank to gunnery sergeant and fined $597.

Four other Marines have been charged in the case. Two are awaiting preliminary hearings; a third pleaded guilty and awaits sentencing; and a fourth was convicted and sentenced to 26 months in the brig.

Pagan was the senior non-commissioned officer at the intelligence cell of the 1st Marine Expeditionary Force based at Camp Pendleton. Among other counts, he was found guilty of dereliction of duty for not preventing the sharing of passwords to classified and unclassified computer systems.

-- Tony Perry in San Diego