‘Please help me,’ U.S. Marine begs for help after wrong turn leads to international arrest
UPDATE: The Oklahoma House of Representatives passed a resolution that urges the U.S. Department of State and U.S. Department of Defense to force Mexican officials to release Sgt. Andrew Tahmooressi.
House Resolution 1069 will now be sent to the Oklahoma Secretary of the State, President of the Senate, Speaker of the House of Representatives, the U.S. Department of State and the U.S. Department of Defense.
“It is deplorable that the U.S. government works hard to release convicted felons who are also illegal immigrants back into the U.S., but they can’t force the immediate release of a U.S. Marine who has seen numerous combat tours in Afghanistan,” said Rep. John Bennett. “It makes you wonder about their priorities.”
TIJUANA, Mexico – For more than a month, a U.S. Marine and Afghanistan war veteran has been held in a Mexican prison, charged with a crime he says he did not commit.
Sgt. Andrew Tahmooressi says he accidentally crossed into Mexico on March 31 with three personal firearms while on his way to meet friends in San Ysidro, California.
His family says the 25-year-old had just moved to the area to get treatment for his post-traumatic stress disorder.
He was still searching for an apartment and was living out of his truck at the time of his arrest.
In a statement to U.S. Rep. Duncan Hunter said, “I accidentally drove into Mexico with 3 guns… a rifle (AR-15), a .45 cal pistol and a 12 gauge pump shotgun with no intensions (sic) on being in Mexico or being involved in any criminal activities. I have rights to all 3 weapons. They are under my name… Please help me.”
Rep. Hunter has begun petitioning for his release, writing Secretary of State John Kerry and Mexico’s attorney general.
Jill Tahmooressi, Andrew’s mother, said, “He was willing to die for his country as a Marine. Where is his country now when he needs it the most?”
His family has created a petition to draw attention to his arrest.
So far, it has earned 14,000 signatures, which is 86,000 short of the needed 100,000 to get a response from the White House.