U.S. Marine reservist Sgt. Andrew Paul Tahmooressi, jailed for seven months in Mexico for entering the country with military-grade weapons, has been released after a court dismissed the charges, Mexican judiciary officials announced.
The 26-year-old Tahmooressi, an Afghanistan veteran who left active duty in 2012, was arrested at a Tijuana checkpoint on March 31st when Mexican customs agents found three military-grade firearms, ammunition and ammunition clips in his pickup truck.
The court in the northwestern border city of Tijuana found no cause to prosecute Tahmooressi on charges of possessing firearms and cartridges intended for the exclusive use of the Mexican military and carrying firearms without a license. In Mexico, unauthorized possession of army-issue guns and ordnance is a federal offense.
In a bulletin, the Federal Judiciary Council, or CJF, which oversees Mexico’s judicial branch, said the court also took heed of an expert’s recommendation that Tahmooressi receive specialized treatment for post-traumatic stress disorder. Decorated for his two tours in Afghanistan, Tahmooressi was seeking treatment for PTSD in the months prior to his ill-fated Mexican excursion.
Tahmooressi told investigators that he crossed the border by mistake, although he also acknowledged that he had been to that border city on several other occasions.
Mexican prosecutors said Tahmooressi did not identify himself as a U.S. service member at the time of his arrest.
Tahmooressi’s case became a cause celebre in the U.S., with lawmakers and others demanding that President Barack Obama put pressure on Mexico to release the Marine reservist.
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