Recon Marine Held in Camp Pendleton Brig in Connection with Missing Ammunition

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A Marine fires from an M4A1 carbine at Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton.
A Marine with 1st Reconnaissance Battalion, 1st Marine Division, fires from an M4A1 carbine during a close quarters tactics drill at Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton, Calif., Sept. 29, 2020. (Israel Chincio/U.S. Marine Corps)

A 28-year-old Reconnaissance Marine is being held in the brig at Camp Pendleton after he was charged with six counts of larceny and military property-related offenses involving missing ammunition from the base, military officials said Friday, April 2.

The charges against Sgt. Gunnar Naughton, with 1st Reconnaissance Battalion, follow an Article 32 fact-finding hearing held on March 19 at the Western Judicial Circuit Court, said 2nd Lt. Kyle McGuire. If Naughton's case is referred to a general court-martial, a redacted charge sheet will provide more details on the materials that are missing, McGuire said.

A second, unidentified Recon Marine is awaiting a similar Article 32 hearing, McGuire said, adding he couldn't discuss specific details on possible charges or the Marine's identity prior to the hearing. McGuire added that the Camp Pendleton investigation is unrelated to 10 pounds of C-4 explosives that were reported missing from Marine Air Ground Combat Center Twentynine Palms in March.

More details are not being released because the case is under investigation by the Naval Criminal Investigation Service.

An ABC 10News report in San Diego on March 25 stated, "At least five reconnaissance Marines allegedly stole thousands of rounds of military-grade ammo and explosives. Then, one Marine allegedly tried to sell the ammo online but got caught in a sting operation that was set up by federal agents."

McGuire said he could confirm that only Naughton is being held in custody on the base.

According to military records, Naughton, of Kansas, started as a recruit at Marine Corps Recruit Depot San Diego in January 2015. In May 2015, he went to training at U.S. Army Training Center, Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri.

From September 2015 to November 2019, he trained as part of the Chemical Biological Incident Response Force, Marine Corps Forces Command, Indian Head, Md. There he trained as a chemical, radiological and nuclear specialist. He joined the elite 1st Reconnaissance Battalion at Camp Pendleton in November 2019.

This article is written by Erika I. Ritchie from Orange County Register and was legally licensed via the Tribune Content Agency through the Industry Dive publisher network. Please direct all licensing questions to legal@industrydive.com.

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