A U.S. Marine veteran has been detained in Mexico for bringing weapons into the country illegally.
The man, 25-year-old Andrew Tahmooressi, was apprehended by Tijuana police soon after crossing the border on April 1. Tahmooressi had three firearms in his truck, all of which were legally registered within the United States. Since his arrest, Tahmooressi has further complicated his situation by attempting to escape from the La Mesa penitentiary where he is being held.
Before driving his car across the border, Florida native Tahmooressi was in the San Diego area seeking treatment for post-traumatic stress disorder at a Veterans Affairs facility. The Marine Reservist had served two combat tours in Afghanistan prior to returning to the United States. According to NBC Miami, Tahmooressi had survived a blast from a homemade bomb and was subsequently given honorable discharge. He remains on the Marine reserves until 2016.
Tahmooressi and his family maintain that the Marine’s entrance into Mexico was an accident, and that his arrest should be handled accordingly.
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“I accidentally drove into Mexico with 3 guns, a rifle (AR-15), a .45 cal pistol and a 12 guage pump shotgun with no intentions on being in Mexico or being involved in any criminal activity,” Tahmooressi wrote in a signed waiver delivered to the office of U.S. Representative Duncan Hunter (R-Calif.) this week, according to the Miami Herald.
Tahmooressi’s trial is scheduled for May 28, but the Marine’s mother and U.S. officials have been able to visit him in prison in the meantime. Whether or not the U.S. government becomes directly involved in Tahmooressi's situation remains to be seen, although they are aware of the situation.