Local News

Lejeune Marine pleads guilty to seeking bribes

Posted January 29, 2013 4:19 p.m. EST

— A Camp Lejeune Marine pleaded guilty Tuesday to soliciting bribes from defense contractors while deployed in Iraq, authorities said.

Gunnery Sgt. Julio Arreola, 36, pleaded guilty to demanding and seeking a bribe. He is expected to be sentenced in May, when he faces up to 15 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.

Arreola was assigned to the I Marine Expeditionary Forces Headquarters Group, Engineer Company, at Camp Fallujah in Iraq, where he supervised construction projects. According to federal authorities, he solicited a bribe from Davut Construction and Services Co. sometime around June 2008, telling company officials that he would recommend the military buy goods from Davut in exchange for a kickback.

He told the company to inflate the prices it charged the Defense Department and give him the difference in cash, authorities said.

"It is disheartening when a military member abandons his code of conduct and violates a position of trust for personal enrichment," John Khin, special agent-in-charge of the Southeast Field Office of the Defense Criminal Investigative Service, said in a statement.