Wednesday, July 17, 2024

US Marines sentenced to 12 years for cross-border drug trafficking


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A former Marine who spent years helping smuggle drugs from Mexico into the United States and even tried to write a song to glorify his exploits was sentenced Friday to 12 years in federal prison. Heard

Roberto Salazar II, 26, of San Diego, was sentenced for conspiracy to import fentanyl and conspiracy to distribute heroin, methamphetamine, cocaine and fentanyl, according to a statement from the US Attorney’s Office.

Salazar, who pleaded guilty last October, could have faced up to life in prison.

He was stationed at Marine Corps Air Station Miramar in San Diego. Prosecutors said that before joining the Corps and while on active duty, he and recruited couriers made dozens of smuggling trips across the border.

Salazar would obtain the cars that were driven to Mexico, where the drugs were loaded into the engine compartments. Prosecutors said the courier would then take them across the border back into the US.

Officials said the scheme began around 2015.

The US attorney’s office said that by the time of his arrest last year, “Salazar had become so involved in drug trafficking that he was commissioning a Mexican songwriter to write a drug ballad known as ‘Narcocorido’”. Was.”

“In one line that Salazar suggested to the songwriter, he boasted: ‘I wanted to study and be a soldier, but I liked the fast life better,’” said the office.

Some of the couriers recruited by Salazar were former Marines or classmates at Southwestern College in Chula Vista.

US Attorney Randy Grossman said, “This case involved a Marine who was supposed to protect and defend our country, but instead greatly harmed Americans by trafficking fentanyl and other dangerous drugs.” “He also betrayed his sacred oath by recruiting other Marines to do the same.”