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Latino Daily News

Monday June 2, 2014

Family of U.S. Marine Held in Mexican Jail Pleads to Sen. McCain

Relatives of U.S. Marine Andrew Tahmooressi, who is being held in a Mexican jail for entering the country with weapons in his possession, have asked Republican Sen. John McCain for help in the case.

“We’re very concerned about his well-being. He’s been beaten, he’s suffering from hunger. The only thing they’re giving him to eat is bread and water with sugar,” Beth Whitney, Tahmooressi’s aunt, told Efe as she displayed a photo of her nephew.

Tahmooressi, a Marine sergeant who served two tours in Afghanistan, was arrested in March 31 when he entered Mexico from San Diego with three firearms in the trunk of his car.

Mexico only allows members of its armed forces to carry weapons.

At the entrance of the checkpoints into Mexican territory there are signs indicating that entering the country with firearms is prohibited.

Everything was a mistake, given that Tahmooressi crossed into Tijuana, Mexico, to do some shopping and when he returned to his parked vehicle in San Diego he then took a wrong turn, realizing quickly thereafter that he was once again in Mexico with the firearms in his possession, Whitney said.

His truck “was surrounded by a group of 20 soldiers, all of them pointing pistols at him,” Whitney said.

The family is desperate about the soldier’s “uncertain future” and so on Saturday they went to McCain’s offices in Phoenix to ask for his help with the aim of obtaining Tahmooressi’s release, Whitney said.

The Tahmooressi case spurred Congressman Duncan Hunter Jr. to take the lead in a series of efforts with an eye toward getting his countryman released, arguing that the whole thing was a misunderstanding.

Hunter, a war veteran like Tahmooressi, requested that Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel suspend any kind of military aid to Mexico until the Marine is released from the jail in Baja California state where he is being held.

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