SAN DIEGO -- The illegal immigrants donned Marine Corps camouflage uniforms and military-style buzz cuts. The license plates on their van had been switched from Mexican to U.S. government plates. If anyone asked, they were Marines traveling to March Air Reserve Base.
But their ploy didn't take into account the possibility of being stopped by a U.S. Border Patrol agent who was an ex-Marine armed with a simple question. The agent, S. Smith, asked the driver to tell him the birthday of the Marine Corps. The driver, Arturo Leyva, didn't know.
Border Patrol Agent "Smith knows the (Marine Corps) birthday is one of the first things taught to all Marines in basic training. At that time, BPA Smith knew Leyva's claim of being a U.S. Marine was false," according to a criminal complaint from a smuggling case filed last week in federal court.
Thursday, March 24, 2011
The U.S. armed forces are natural targets for cross-border smugglers of people and arms. It's surprising that more problems haven't been noticed before now: