Andrew Tahmooressi, Marine Held in Mexico: 5 Fast Facts You Need to Know

Protests across the American west are calling for Mexico to release 25-year-old American Andrew Tahmooressi. Tahmooressi, a Marine reservist who served in Afghanistan, is imprisoned in La Mesa prison in Tijuana after he was pulled over on March 31 with a number of guns in his car.

Here’s what you need to know about Tahmooressi, the incident, and the backlash it caused:

1. He ‘Accidentally’ Crossed the Border Carrying Guns



On March 31, the South Florida native was driving to a friend’s house near San Diego when he says he missed his exit and crossed the US-Mexico border with multiple legally purchased U.S. guns in his car, reports CBS. He was reportedly carrying the guns in his car because he has been living out of his car and all of his possessions were in the truck at the time of crossing.

Tahmooressi was arrested with the guns and taken to infamous La Mesa prison.

2. He Is Imprisoned & Being Held on 3 Gun Charges

Tahmooressi, who awaits trial for three gun charges, has described his time in prison as bleak. After an escape attempt, Tahmooressi was chained by all four limbs. In another instance, he reportedly stabbed himself in the neck with a broken light bulb.

CBS Miami reports that one evening Tahmooressi called his mother in a panic and said:

Mom I’m not going to make it through the night. There’s hit men in here, they have told me they are going to kill me. They’re going to rape and then torture and murder me and they’re going to send me out in a body bag.

FOX reports that he is ineligible for jail because 2 of the 3 weapons in his car are only permitted to be carried by the Mexican military.

3. He Faces 6 to 21 Years in a Mexican Prison

If convicted, FOX news reports he could spend between 6 to 21 years behind bars in Mexico. Tahmooressi is one of at least 3 U.S. soldiers to be jailed in Mexico for possessing guns in the nation.

4. His Mother & Many Congressman Are Petitioning for His Return

Friends, family, supporters, and now at least two elected officials are asking the federal government to help pressure Mexico to release the 25-year-old. Republican Representative Duncan Hunter of California, and Democratic Representative Debbie Wasserman Schultz have both said that they’ve reached out to the State Department.

Above you can hear Andrew’s mother, Jill, tell her side of the story.

5. He Served Two Tours in Afghanistan

Tahmooressi served two tours in Afghanistan, experiences that led him to be diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder. Tahmooressi had recently moved from Florida to California to seek treatment for PTSD. He also suffers from anxiety and depression, reports CBS Miami.

He was honorably discharged in 2012.

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  1. He was out of the military. He is not a POW. He drove across the border with guns in his car. Doesn’t Mexico have the right, like the U.S., to imprison as their laws dictate? Are we to change the rules to get every former military personnel out of foreign prisons? He was a civilian who got caught. If the U.S. demands and gets him released, they better get every American out of foreign prisons!!

    • Mexican guards,police etc cross the border every day. They are turned around and sent home.Not put in prison. When they cross,they are carrying guns.Mexican laws are as bogus as the people who get paid off to “enforce” them. It’s all about greed and corruption.If we stop letting them stay in this nation,stop the foreign aid,stop being the welfare capital of the world for them and supporting their sorry selves,relations would improve immensely.We are choking on illegals.Yet more continue to come and we let them stay. He made a mistake and ended up in that sorry cesspool of a country.That place is a nightmare. He needs to be freed. Period

    • Great answer. How about we as Americans – and a Government- respond appropriately, when and where we can – case by case. Perhaps before making ass comments you can read all the facts first. It’s not black and white – we are talking about human lives – human beings in each and every instance!

    • Anyone who served in the U.S. Military (except you jackass) is trained to use a gun. Nobody ever said he was a POW, and it’s stupid for you to say that, because we’re not at war with Mexico, so why would you be dumb enough to say that?!! This former Marine Sgt. served TWO tours of duty in Afghanistan, and just out of the service, and just because he got lost, trying to get to San Diego, the Mexican authorities arrested him and put him inside a filthy prison in Tijuana. It didn’t mean he did anything other than make an error in judgement by crossing over into the wrong lane while over-correcting. He had no illegal drugs on him, and his firearms he had in his truck were registered by the U.S. as legal, as the Mexican authorities soon learned, but they kept him there anyway. Do you know how many Mexican illegals come waltzing in over our border invading the U.S. every single day?………….MILLIONS UPON MILLIONS, and the only ones arrested and put in prison are those who get caught committing a crime, from misdemeanors to murders, but since you asked, I’ll answer you: Mr. King Obama, did then, as he currently is doing now, NOT questioning, NOT arresting, NOT fact checking, NOT imprisoning, and NOT deporting MEXICAN ILLEGALS, who are here illegally, and he is purporting to invite many more millions of illegals to the U.S. You want to talk about “changing the rules”??? Mr. King Obama IS IN FACT, BREAKING THE RULES JUST BY DOING THAT, yet when it came to helping free one American Former Marine, who was imprisoned for 214 days, king Obama DID ABSOLUTELY NOTHING to get him released! King Obama has released many Muslim Terrorist detainees from Guantanamo Bay Prison in Cuba, while ignoring Americans imprisoned in many foreign countries in the world.
      Now, come this November 2016, Americans who are sick and tired of seeing how Washington, D.C. breaks the rules, by forcing U.S. Citizens to pay for benefits being given to millions and millions of illegals, while there are millions of Americans who are told they don’t qualify for those same benefits, or are rejected, will speak, and our voices will be loud and clear………….

  2. If I’m not mistaken didn’t a mexican military helicopter just open fire on two american agents on American soil? Then fly back and call saying it was a accident? I say send in the seals and lets deal with this.

  3. It amazes me that right here on our own soil, and just across the border, where the Mexican people come and go as they please, that our government can not retrieve a decorated Marine from captivity over the border. The government (our) had no trouble retrieving a cowardly, traitor and deserter from thousands of miles away, and trading terrorist for him. If you bother to stop and think about it, it just makes you sick. Sets a real good example for returning soldiers. If this is all they can expect after putting their lives on the line, then God help them.

  4. He crossed the boarder with guns, that is illegal. He claims he made a wrong turn and got there. But if he had told them that on the American side and not gone into the country he would not be in jail, but he choose to actually go into the country with guns. Just because he did tours in the millitary does not give him permission to go into other countries and break laws.

    • you don’t go through a checkpoint on the American side when going into Mexico. You only go through an American checkpoint when you are entering the US.

    • He didn’t hide the fact thst he had the guns, he declared them and he did not try to flee. That in itself speaks to his character and the facts of the incident.

    • You obviously have not been to the border. When you cross into Mexico there is no “American side” wishing you bon voyage. the road is lined with barriers, and you have limited opportunities to turn around. This was an honest mistake I have made myself. I went through the border, turned around, and returned to Otay Mesa. No big deal. This is a power play.

  5. As a marine Sargent he has rank chain of command over him all the way to Obama. I have not heard one officer come forward negative or positive on his behalf. Our Muslim in cheif Obama We do not leave our troops in uniform behind. Eric Withholder nothing. Note Ferguson and Trayvon got attention from our racist leaders our white marine got nothing.