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Marine, brother plead not guilty to weapons-related charges

Law EnforcementCrime, Law and JusticeFirearmsUnrest, Conflicts and WarCourts and the JudiciaryAEG

An active Marine out of Camp Pendleton pleaded not guilty Thursday to possessing an assault weapon that his brother allegedly used for a carjacking that ended with a police chase, authorities said.

Alexander Russell Smith, 21, is the Marine who was charged with one count of possession of an assault weapon.

His brother, 38-year-old Robert Charles Maalea, faces a number of additional charges, including carjacking, assault by a machine gun or assault weapon and evading police, according to the Los Angeles County district attorney's office.

A prosecutor said Maalea walked up to a woman in a vehicle on Dec. 30 holding an AR-15 assault rifle. He then walked away, "crossed the street and allegedly carjacked a vehicle while the owner was nearby."

Maalea then allegedly took the stolen car to a parking garage, brandished his weapon again to another woman, and then led Long Beach police on a car chase.

He crashed, tried to run, and was taken into custody.

Bail was set at $1.2 million for Maalea and $35,000 for Smith. Both men are due back in Los Angeles County Superior Court on Jan. 9.

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Twitter: @aribloomekatz | Facebook

ari.bloomekatz@latimes.com

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