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2 Marines charged in connection with racial slurs written in a University of Maryland resident hall

(CNN) — The Naval Criminal Investigative Services is investigating an incident allegedly involving two US Marines based in Washington, DC, according to a statement from Marine Barracks Washington, following reports of racial slurs written in a University of Maryland resident hall.

The two Marines - Lance Cpls. Sergio Delgado, 21, and Hayden Pritchard, 22 - were charged earlier this month in connection with a "hate bias incident" that occurred at the university in April, according to a release from the University of Maryland Police Department. NCIS is conducting the investigation alongside UMPD.

It was not immediately clear whether Delgado and Pritchard have legal representation.

On the morning of April 29, 2023, officers responded after "racial slurs against the Black community" were found inside a residence hall, according to the UMPD release. The officers responded again after "additional racial slurs" were found inside the residence hall a few hours later. Delgado was charged with one count of trespassing, while Pritchard was charged with trespassing and a count of race/religious property damage, according to the UMPD release.

Delgado and Pritchard were "identified and charged by the University of Maryland Police Department" on February 8 "after the command was notified by investigating officials in January 2024, in connection with an incident that occurred inside La Plata Hall," according to the Marine Barracks Washington statement.

UMPD declined to comment on why the two men were on campus or how they got access to the building.

Mike Lurie, a spokesperson for the University System of Maryland, said the two men charged were not enrolled in any USMD school.

The Marine Barracks Washington statement said the charges against Delgado and Pritchard "reflect conduct that is inconsistent with the exceedingly high standards the United States Marine Corps expects of its Marines."

"Further, such behavior would not reflect the outstanding conduct and professionalism displayed by the vast majority of Marine Barracks Washington's Marines and Sailors," the statement said. "Should these charges be substantiated, Lance Cpl. Delgado and Lance Cpl. Pritchard will be held fully accountable for their actions."

Both Delgado and Pritchard enlisted in the Marine Corps in January 2022 and reported to Marine Barracks Washington in December that year after completing recruit training and the School of Infantry - West at Camp Pendleton, California.

By Haley Britzky and Adrienne Winston, CNN  

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