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Charges preferred in connection with fire near Sleeping Indian

CAMP PENDLETON — Based on the findings of a Naval Criminal Investigative Service (NCIS) investigation, charges have been preferred against a Marine for his alleged involvement in starting a fire in the Juliett Training Area on October 13, 2008.

LCpl. Nason G. Lamb has been charged with one specification of Article 107 – false official statement; one specification of Article 108 – damage to military property; and three specifications of Article 134 – reckless endangerment, setting fire to US property and setting fire that damaged California property, all in connection with the Juliett 2 Fire.

The special court-martial convening authority is convening an Article 32 Investigation, similar to a civilian preliminary hearing, which will provide a recommendation as to whether charges should be referred to a court-martial.

It has been determined that two separate fires started that afternoon. Juliett 1 Fire started at approximately 2:20 p.m. northwest of Morrow Hill. Juliett 2 Fire started at approximately 2:50 p.m. east of the Juliett 1 Fire. At some point, both fires merged.

The Juliett 2 Fire contributed to, and was possibly the only source of, fire that threatened the Sleeping Indian hill area of Fallbrook.

Based on the NCIS findings, the Juliett 2 Fire was allegedly started by a Marine during a land-navigation exercise in the Juliett Training Area.

Neither the Juliett 1 nor the Juliett 2 fire was started by any blank, live-fire or fire-producing training aids.

The Juliett Fires, 100 percent contained at approximately 6 p.m. October 17, 2008, burned approximately 4,000 acres.

The Marine who has been charged is currently assigned to the I Marine Expeditionary Force, Camp Pendleton.

 

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