Military Law

Raid on defense lawyer offices at Camp Pendleton was 'rare event,' Marine Corps officials say

Marine Corps defense lawyers at Camp Pendleton are contacting dozens of clients to inform them about a raid on the lawyers’ offices earlier this month.

Lt. Col. Clay Plummer, the Marine Corps’ regional defense counsel for the West, tells the Associated Press the May 2 raid was “just unacceptable.”

The military criminal investigators opened case files while searching for a cellphone tied to a case, though they removed only the cellphone, Plummer told the wire service.

“Our intent is we are going to fight this behavior through litigation in our courts with the hope our courts can do something so this never happens again,” Plummer said. The raided office handles a variety of criminal cases, including murders.

Marine Corps officials said the raid was a “rare event” and a neutral, independent judge will conduct a review. The judge will review the raid and the seized evidence, and will consider whether possibly privileged material was improperly disclosed, AP says. An area commander authorized the search.

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