Border Patrol Detains 13 Marine Impersonators

By Amy Isackson
March 22, 2011

The Border Patrol in San Diego detained 13 undocumented immigrants all wearing U.S. Marine uniforms and riding in a white van with altered U.S.-government license plates.

Officials won't say why the news hasn't come out before now; agents detained the fake Marines on March 14.

On Tuesday, Border Patrol spokesman Michael Jimenez said he could not answer questions, and only read a statement

He said the van pulled up to the Border Patrol checkpoint on Interstate-8 in Pine Valley, east of San Diego. It aroused agents' suspicion, though Jimenez wouldn't say why.

Agents arrested the two U.S. citizens and 13 undocumented immigrants from Mexico riding in the van, he said.

Jimenez said everyone's camouflaged uniforms had the same last name on them: Lopez. He said disguising vehicles is nothing new. "Utility vehicles, U-Hauls, moving vehicles, in which they'll have people hidden in furniture sometimes when they come up to out checkpoints," said Jimenez.

Jimenez says the Naval Criminal Investigative Service is investigating.