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Recon Marine accused of stealing ammunition at Camp Pendleton will go to court-martial

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Then Lance Cpl. Gunnar I. Naughton, a team member with Identification Platoon, React Force Company, Chemical Biological Incident Response Force (CBIRF), listens to Sgt. Maj. Ronald L. Green, the 18th Sergeant Major of the Marine Corps, during Green’s tour of Raymond M. Downey Responder Training Facility, Naval Annex Stump Head, Md., Feb. 18, 2016. (Photo by Sgt. Santiago G. Colon Jr.)

Erika I. Ritchie

The Orange County Register

A 28-year-old Reconnaissance Marine accused of stealing ammunition from an armory on Camp Pendleton will go to court-martial, military officials said on Tuesday, May 25.

Sgt. Gunnar Naughton has been referred to a general court-martial with a trial date set for July 1 at Camp Pendleton, said 2nd Lt. Kyle McGuire, spokesman for the 1st Marine Division.

Naughton, with the 1st Reconnaissance Battalion, was charged with six counts of larceny and military property-related offenses involving missing ammunition in early April. The charges followed an Article 32 fact-finding hearing held on March 19 at the Western Judicial Circuit Court.

In a list of articles under the Uniformed Code of Military Justice released by the 1st Marine Division, Naughton is accused of being found in possession of thousands of rounds of military ammunition, two military grenades and a smoke grenade, which Naval Criminal Investigative Service investigators said were found at his home off-base in Fallbrook. He is also accused of deleting evidence on Signal, a secure messaging app, and WhatsApp and attempting to discard the ammunition in a ravine in Fallbrook.

He is charged with dereliction in performing his duties, obstructing justice and violations of the Uniformed Code. He remains in the brig at Camp Pendleton.

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 US Army Training Center, Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri.

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

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