Charges at Marine unit include kidnapping, firearms, domestic abuse and more
By CARL PRINE | The San Diego Union-Tribune | Published: June 9, 2018
CAMP PENDLETON, Calif. (Tribune News Service) — Four Marines in Camp Pendleton’s 1st Marine Logistics Group are facing serious criminal charges and another pair recently pleaded guilty at court-martial.
The charges include rape, kidnapping, firearms violations, drug use and domestic abuse.
The most senior Marine awaiting court-martial is Gunnery Sgt. Shawn C. Moulton, according to charge sheets released under the federal Freedom of Information Act.
A senior non-commissioned officer in Combat Logistics Battalion 7 at Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center Twentynine Palms, Moulton engaged in a forbidden relationship with a junior Marine for more than a year before it ended in September, prosecutors allege.
When he was ordered by his captain to stop the “unduly familiar relationship,” Moulton allegedly kept texting the Marine, according to the charge sheets.
“Personal relationships between staff non-commissioned officers and junior enlisted members that are unduly familiar and that do not respect differences in grade or rank are prohibited in the Marine Corps,” said 1st Lt. Adam Miller, the spokesman for 1st Marine Logistics Group, by email.
A motor transport operations chief from Florida with multiple deployments to Iraq and Afghanistan, Moulton’s decorations include two Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medals, five Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medals, five Navy and Marine Corps Good Conduct Medals and the Combat Action Ribbon.
An 18-year veteran of the Corps, Moulton’s trial is slated to begin on Aug. 20.
Lance Cpl. Calixto Gonzalez Jr. pleaded guilty on May 31 after being charged with violating nine specifications of military law, including rape and burglary.
Assigned to Headquarters Regiment at Camp Pendleton’s 1st Marine Logistics Group, the Texan was charged with sexually assaulting two Marines on Sept. 8 and another on Nov. 10.
At least one of the women was unconscious, according to his charge sheet.
“Sexual assault is a serious crime and is incompatible with our Marine Corps’ core values,” Miller said. “Those who commit these crimes will be held accountable in accordance with the Uniform Code of Military Justice.”
Gonzalez, a data systems administrator, enlisted in the Marines on Aug. 24, 2015. He’s received the National Defense Service Medal and the Global War on Terrorism Service Medal.
He pleaded guilty to three specifications of sexual assault and was sentenced to four years in prison, a dishonorable discharge and reduction in rank to private.
Twice found guilty of previous crimes by his command and administratively punished, Pvt. Jordan D. Anderson of Texas is confined while awaiting an Aug. 6 court-martial.
The finance technician in Service Company, Headquarters Regiment, 1st Marine Logistics Group, is accused of 24 specifications of violating military law, including soliciting prostitution, firearms crimes, stealing military property, obstructing justice and marijuana abuse.
The 10 pages of charge sheets allege that his latest misconduct began last June when he solicited an unnamed woman to commit prostitution for money, requests he repeated in August, September, October and December.
Often using written communication, he allegedly sought “nothing crazy” from an unidentified woman, naked pictures or “a different option” and various forms of more specific sexual acts, according to the charge documents.
On Dec. 18 he also allegedly sent a lewd photograph of himself.
On Sept. 1, he allegedly stole the body armor side plates from another Camp Pendleton Marine, but Miller said Anderson returned them.
Although he was not allowed to keep a 12-gauge shotgun on base, on Jan. 12 Anderson allegedly did so and asked a fellow Marine to move it from his barracks before investigators found it.
Eight days later he smoked marijuana, authorities say.
Anderson enlisted in the Marines on Aug. 22, 2016, and he’s received the National Defense Service Medal and the Global War on Terrorism Service Medal.
Cpl. Michael J. Williamson, an engineer equipment operator in 1st Transportation Support Battalion, is accused of beating his ex-girlfriend, a Marine sergeant at Camp Pendleton, on Dec. 30.
In pretrial confinement pending a court-martial scheduled to begin on June 11, Williamson allegedly dragged her to the floor of her bed, pushed her against a wall, covered her mouth and nose and choked her with his hand, according to this charge sheet.
“Our Marines and sailors are our most valuable resources and their protection from violence and physical harm is of paramount importance,” Miller said. “Physical and mental abuse is incompatible with our standards of personal conduct, and those who choose to detract from our Marine Corps standards, committing egregious crimes are held accountable and punished under the Uniform Code of Military Justice.”
Williamson enlisted in the Marines on Feb. 11, 2013. The Florida Marine’s decorations include the Sea Service Deployment Ribbon, Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal, Korean Defense Service Medal, Marine Corps Good Conduct Medal and the Global War on Terrorism Service Medal.
Cpl. Richard B. Sawyer of 7th Engineer Support Battalion on Camp Pendleton pleaded guilty on May 2 to possessing drug paraphernalia and cocaine. No longer in confinement, the South Carolina man was reduced to the rank of private and will receive a bad conduct discharge from the Corps.
“The illegal distribution, possession or use of drugs is not tolerated in the United States Marine Corps,” Miller said. “Furthermore, each instance of illegal drug use makes that Marine or sailor unfit for duty and poses a risk to the safety of fellow service members and degrades unit readiness.”
Sawyer’s decorations include the National Defense Service Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal, the Sea Service Deployment Ribbon and the Marine Corps Good Conduct Medal.
A sailor assigned to 1st Dental Battalion at 1st Marine Logistics Group also faces charges.
Hospitalman Henry L. McGill is in pretrial confinement pending a court-martial trial scheduled to begin on July 30.
He’s accused of conspiring with a Marine friend to kidnap McGill’s civilian adult girlfriend near Vista on Sept. 5 to take her to Mexico, according to his charge sheet.
He allegedly tried to spirit her away on both Sept. 5 and on Oct. 20 in Esondido, according to the documents.
Ordered to stay away from the woman and her Escondido residence, McGill repeatedly disobeyed his commander and pointed an unloaded firearm at her, squeezed her arms, pushed her head and choked her neck, authorities believe.
While investigators were probing the alleged abuse, McGill told an unnamed person to avoid helping them, authorities say.
McGill, of Florida, enlisted in the Navy on May 22, 2014 and has received the National Defense Service Medal and the Marine Corps Good Conduct Medal.