Years before his other well-known instances of taking flight – from criminal cases in Madera County, Orange County and, finally, from the Orange County jail itself — Hossein Nayeri fled his post as a U.S. Marine.

Nayeri, now 37, enlisted in the Marine Corps as a teenager in August 1998 but vanished from his post at Camp Pendleton not long after completing boot camp, according to military records.

Nayeri was labeled a deserter and remained missing from October 1998 to March 1999. When he was found, the Marines put him in the brig for 47 days, court-martialed him and kicked him out under a “bad conduct” discharge, said Marines spokeswoman Yvonne Carlock.
“He barely earned the title Marine,” she said.

That did not stop Nayeri from invoking his military service when he was seeking leniency in connection with the 2005 drunk-driving death of a friend in Madera County.