PFC Bryan Newell Jr., from Flint, Mich., was arrested Dec. 2 by Customs and Border Protection (CBP) agents at the San Ysidro port of entry near San Diego.
Court documents obtained by the Marine Corps Times said Newell told the agents at the checkpoint that he was “partying at the strip clubs" and regularly crosses into Mexico.
However, a check revealed he had no history of crossing the border and was not eligible to use the Secure Electronic Network for Travelers Rapid Inspection (SENTRI) that he was attempting to pass through. A secondary inspection revealed two women -- identified as Qiaoying Cai and Yajie Liue -- hiding in the trunk of his car, per the Marine Corps Times.
Newell, who is assigned to Headquarters Battalion of the 1st Marine Division at Camp Pendleton, in Calif., is awaiting arraignment in a federal court. He joined the Marines in November 2018.
In July, Border Patrol agents arrested two Marines caught with three undocumented immigrants in their car. An investigation led authorities to arrest 16 Marines en masse at a battalion formation.
Thirteen were criminally charged in connection with an alleged human and drug smuggling ring but charges were dropped after a judge ruled the arrests violated their rights.