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  1. #1
    Senior Member AirborneSapper7's Avatar
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    Judge Hands Down Devastating Orders to U.S. Marine Imprisoned in Mexico

    Judge Hands Down Devastating Orders to U.S. Marine Imprisoned in Mexico

    in News, Politics, World News / by Amanda Shea / on July 10, 2014 at 11:08 am /

    The US Marine, Sgt. Andrew Tahmooressi, who has been held in a Mexican prison on weapons charges has been ordered back to prison by a Mexican judge, after his first full court appearance Wednesday.
    Mexican authorities are standing by their decision to move forward with prosecuting him for entering the country with military-grade firearms, contending not knowing their laws does not exempt him from them.

    Tahmooressi has been imprisoned in Mexico for a total of 101 days, with little American action to retrieve him, except for a letter sent Wednesday by a group of U.S. bipartisan lawmakers requesting his immediate return. The news of Mexico’s decision to prosecute him was released that same day.
    The 26-year-old veteran of two tours in Afghanistan, who was being treated for Post Traumatic Stress Disorder related to his combat, says he accidentally crossed a California border checkpoint late March 31 and could not turn around before reaching the Mexican government checkpoint. Tahmooressi had been in San Diego for treatment related to his PTSD and had all his possessions in his car, after having just moved from Florida. At the checkpoint, he declared his three-registered weapons to agents at the border, however Mexican authorities chose to charge him with violating their gun laws regardless.
    The letter sent by Rep. Duncan Hunter (R-Calif.) had offered hope to Tahmooressi’s mother, Jill Tahmooressi. Lawmakers stated in that letter to Mexican officials that they believe the 26-year-old veteran accidentally crossed the border, just as Andrew had claimed. It even cites a last-ditch 911 call made by the Marine as evidence to prove the turn was accidental.
    “One of the most compelling pieces of evidence is a 911 call Andrew made at the border checkpoint, where he stated that he was unaware of his location,” the letter said. “It’s also important to take into account that Andrew was new to the San Diego area, without permanent housing, and had many of his possessions in his car. Like many of those new to the area, he was unfamiliar with the often confusing roads along the border and was unable to turn around before entering Mexico.”
    On Wednesday, the Marine made his first official courtroom appearance in front of a judge. It was not immediately clear what he said during the private hearing, but his lawyer Fernando Benitez said he was confident things were headed in the right direction, despite the judge’s order to keep him imprisoned.
    Following the hearing, Tahmooressi was escorted by heavily-armed guards back to El Hongo Prison in Tecate.
    Jill Tahmooressi said she also received a letter Monday from U.S. Ambassador to Mexico Anthony Wayne, saying “he was monitoring the situation and that the local consulate has been supporting Andrew.”
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  2. #2
    Lawmaker calls on US to suspend aid to Mexico over jailed Marine
    Published May 13, 2014

    A key lawmaker on Monday called on the United States to suspend military aid to Mexico in light of the jailing of a Marine Corps sergeant who mistakenly entered the country with firearms.

    Sgt. Andrew Tahmooressi, a 25-year-old combat veteran, was jailed in late March after he missed a freeway exit near San Ysidro, Calif., and drove into Tijuana, where Mexican authorities discovered he had three guns in his car. Although the guns were legally owned in the United States, and Tahmooressi had no intention of traveling to Mexico, he’s been jailed for more than a month.

    On Monday, Rep. Duncan Hunter, R-Calif., a member of the House Armed Services committee, asked Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel to suspend military aid to Mexico, including training, intelligence cooperation and equipment transfers.

    “You have the authority to suspend cooperation with the Mexican military in a number of areas,” said Hunter, who served two tours as a member of the Marines Corps in Iraq and one in Afghanistan. “In light of the Mexican government’s incarceration of Andrew, I urge you to immediately consider suspending training and equipment assistance to Mexico until Andrew’s case is resolved.”

    Also on Monday, Hunter authored a letter to Department of Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson, seeking information about unauthorized incursions by Mexican authorities into the United States, a request he says was motivated by Tahmooressi’s jailing.

    Hunter has actively tried to secure Tahmooressi’s release. He has called on Secretary of State John Kerry to pressure Mexico into releasing him, and earlier this month, his office released a bipartisan letter signed by 21 members of Congress asking the Mexican attorney general to release him.

    Tahmooressi was held inside La Mesa Prison in Tijuana after his March 31 arrest, though he was moved to another prison 40 miles east of Tijuana on Thursday, Hunter's office told After he allegedly attempted to escape and suffered a self-inflicted stab wound, he was at one point placed in a jail infirmary with his arms and legs restrained.

    Proceedings against Tahmooressi are scheduled for May 28, though U.S. lawmakers are urging them to be expedited and for all charges to be dropped.

    Tahmooressi, an active U.S. Marine reservist who served two combat tours in Afghanistan, including a 2010 stint in the violent Marjah district, was moving to San Diego with a Marine friend be close to his treatment center for his post-traumatic stress disorder at the time of his arrest.’s Karl de Vries and The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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