Marine veteran Jesse Gabriel Marks, 38, was sentenced this month to 30 years in prison for drugging and trafficking hundreds of women in Jacksonville, NC, which both includes and surrounds Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune. According to the Marine Corps Times (MCT), “Marks was originally indicted on charges of methamphetamine and heroin distribution as well as sex trafficking by force, fraud or coercion.”

However, as reported by the MCT, “The drug charges were dropped as part of his plea agreement, which resulted in a sentence of 30 years followed by five years supervised release and an order to pay $249,700 in restitution to multiple victims.”

Marks enlisted into the Marine Corps as an 0311 (Infantry Rifleman) in April 2000, but was discharged in October 2002, while still stationed at Camp Lejeune, with the prestigious rank of “private.” Clearly, he wasn’t cut out for the Corps. The Marine Corps Manpower and Reserve Affairs Office released a statement saying, “Marks’s premature discharge and rank at time of separation are indicative of the fact that the character of his service was incongruent with Marine Corps’ expectations and standards.”

In light of Marks’s current conviction, the Marine Corps’ comments aren’t shocking.

This case began when Marks was caught with methamphetamine in a 2019 drug bust. But the case quickly progressed beyond simply drugs into reports that Marks was illegally drugging and prostituting women on and around Camp Lejeune.

Camp Lejeune Marine Corps Base entrance (Photo by Allen Breed/AP Photo)

According to a statement released by the U.S. Attorney’s Office, Marks “prostituted hundreds of women, including at least one minor, over nearly two decades. He used drugs, including heroin and methamphetamine, to keep them dependent on and prostituting for him.”

Marks’s Victims Could Be as Many as 600

U.S. Attorney’s Office-Eastern District, North Carolina, spokesman Don Connelly said of the case, “Marks confessed to prostituting more than 200 victims, but one witness said it was closer to 600.” Connelly continued, “He sold many kilograms of narcotics, including cocaine, crack cocaine, heroin, and methamphetamine.”

Beyond simply being the provider of drugs to these women, he was also drugging them without their knowledge. According to the U.S. Attorney’s release, Marks “physically and emotionally abused many of the victims,” and “gave women drug cocktails without their full knowledge and, once they were unconscious or nearly unconscious, sexually assaulted them.” Marks is also reported to have recorded many of those assaults.