BREAKING NEWS UPDATE
Saturday, November 1st, 9:00 a.m. Pacific Time –
After 214 days in a Mexican prison, Sgt. Andrew Tahmooressi crossed the US – Mexican border Friday night, boarding a private jet for Florida shortly after 9 p.m. A strong diplomatic push by former Gov. Bill Richardson of New Mexico, Reps. Ed Royce (R-CA) and Matt Salmon (R-AZ) along with hundreds of thousands of signatures from American Citizens, appeared to help convince a judge to release the former Marine on humanitarian grounds.
Jonathan Franks, Tahmooressi family spokesman, said the judge acted on a recommendation from the PGR, the Mexican Attorney General’s Office. In that motion, the prosecutor “essentially withdrew the charges,” Franks said. Moments later, the trial judge issued an acquittal in Andrew’s case, calling for an “immediate and absolute release.”
The fact that he could not get treatment for PTSD in Mexico, may have played a part in his release, or the fact that his rights were violated at the border., by being denied an attorney, denied permission to see someone from the consulate and held for more than 7 hours. The family has announced that Sgt. Tahmooressi will take a private flight back to Florida. ICE said it is uncertain if he will cross into the US or leave from the airport in Tijuana. The judge ordered dismissal of the charges, based on the fact that he was unfit to stand trial because of his PTSD. Apparently, his condition was deteriorating after 7 1/2 months of incarceration. Authorities say this never should have gotten this far, cross border relations in the past prompted a phone call from the leader of the country, in this case Obama, saying this man didn’t intend to commit a crime, and he would have been sent back.
A Mexican judge has ordered the immediate release of a jailed U.S. Marine veteran who spent eight months behind bars for crossing the border with loaded guns.
Family spokesman Jonathan Franks told The Associated Press on Friday that the judge decided to release retired Marine Sgt. Andrew Tahmooressi.
Franks said the judge released him without making a determination on the charge against him.
The family issued the following statement: “It is with an overwhelming and humbling feeling of relief that we confirm that Andrew was released today after spending 214 days in Mexican Jail.”
The 26-year-old Florida man said he got lost a San Diego freeway ramp that sent him across the San Ysidro Port of Entry with no way to turn back on March 31. Mexican authorities found three loaded guns and ammunition in the back of his truck.
His long detention brought calls for his freedom from U.S. politicians, veterans groups and social media campaigns.
In Mexico, possession of weapons restricted for use by the Army is a federal crime, and the country has been tightening up its border checks to stop the flow of US weapons that have been used by drug cartels.
His attorney, Fernando Benitez, says Tahmooressi carries loaded guns with him because his weapons, which were bought legally in the U.S., make him feel safer. He is often distracted, which could have contributed to him becoming lost, Benitez said.
Still, Mexican prosecutors say Tahmooressi broke the law, and they have denied claims by his attorney that he was held for about eight hours without a translator before authorities notified the U.S. Consulate.
But a psychiatrist hired by Mexican prosecutors to examine the Afghanistan veteran agreed with the defense that he should get PTSD treatment in the United States, noting in a Sept. 30 report that Tahmooressi, who now serves in the Marine reserve, feels like he is constantly in danger.
Tahmooressi did not admit wrongdoing, and he still maintains his innocence, his attorney said.
Finally, Sgt. Andrew Tahmooressi, the American Marine who was held in Mexico, is about to be released. According to a family spokesman, a Mexican judge ordered that he be released from prison immediately.
He spent over eight months in prison as his family begged and pleaded with the Obama administration to no avail to work to secure his release.
Family spokesman Jonathan Franks said that the judge ordered the release without making a determination on the charges against him (H/T TheBlaze).
Sgt. Tahmooressi found himself in trouble with the Mexican authorities after getting lost on a California freeway ramp and winding up across the border.
Rep. Matt Salmon, R-Ariz., chairman of the Subcommittee on the Western Hemisphere, said, “I am truly overjoyed to hear the news that our Marine Sgt. Tahmooressi is finally coming home to America. During my last visit with Andrew in a Mexican prison, I told him the next time I saw him would be during his release to America; I am grateful that I will be able to keep that promise and be with him and (his mother) Mrs. Tahmooressi as he returns to the United States tonight.”