Decision in case of Sgt Tahmooressi, Marine in Mexico, could take a year

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WASHINGTON, July 9 2014 — Marine Sergeant Tahmooressi today told Mexican Judge Fernando Benitez de Castillo that Mexican custom agents asked him for money, weapons and a vehicle to set him free, according to a posting by Mexican reporter Said Betanzos on his Facebook page at approximately 3:30 today.

The Judge announced to the Court before the proceedings that the hearing was to present evidence, and that three customs officers would testify.

Under the Mexican judicial system, a single judge will decide Tahmooressi’s fate. The judge will review testimony from Tahmooressi and from officials as well as other evidence before making a decision. That decision could take up to another year.

The next hearing will take place in August.


Tahmooressi, a former U.S. Marine, has been held in a Mexican jail for 101 days. He was finally allowed to present his case to a judge today.

According to Tahmooressi, he was arrested by Mexican authorities on April 1, when he accidentally took a wrong turn and crossed the border. At the time of his arrest, Tahmooressi had three firearms in his car, all of which were legally registered.

Mexican officials say Tahmooressi had crossed the border three previous times.

He has spent the last 101 days in a Mexican jail, sometimes handcuffed to his cot.

The American has received support from high-profile celebrities including Gary Sinese, and talk show host Greta Van Susteren who publicized the hash tag #MarineHeldInMexico.

marine

gretta

Several U.S. lawmakers have also championed Tahmooressi’s cause, including U.S. Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, who has lobbied for his release; U.S. Rep. Ed Royce, R-Calif., Chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, along with Rep. Matt Salmon, R-Ariz., who visited Tahmooressi in prison; U.S. Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, R-Fla.; and Senator John McCain, R-Ariz.

In early June, the White House finally broke its silence on Tahmooressi and issued a statement. At that time, White House spokesman Josh Earnest said the situation with Tahmooressi is different from that of Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, because the latter was being held by an enemy combatant.

“I don’t have a lot of information to provide you in terms of the current efforts underway,” Earnest said.

Earnest then added, “Certainly the president is concerned about all detainees or Americans who are being held against their will in other countries. This is something the president is certainly concerned about. But in terms of what specific efforts are underway, I’d refer you to the State Department.”

Critics say the White House has not worked hard enough to win the release of Tahmooressi.

The Mexican judge could decide Tahmooressi’s fate as early as today.

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Lisa M. Ruth
Lisa M. Ruth is Editor-in-Chief of CDN. In addition to her editing and leadership duties, she also writes on international events, intelligence, and other topics. She has worked with CDN as a journalist since 2009. Lisa is also President of CTC International Group, Inc., a research and analysis firm in South Florida, providing actionable intelligence to decisionmakers. She started her career at the CIA, where she won several distinguished awards for her service. She holds an MA in international relations from the University of Virginia, and a BA in international relations from George Mason University. She also serves as Chairman of the Board of Horses Healing Hearts, and is involved with several other charitable organizations, including Habitat for Humanity, The Boys and Girls Clubs of America, and AYSO.
  • jb1111

    Obama doesn’t give a Sh-T.

  • Keli Grantham Steadham

    This is a US Marine, not a willing member of a terrorist group that Obama not-so-secretly supports, so he doesn’t care.

    • Usedtobe Fishfry

      Are you saying that because he’s an ex-Marine, he’s entitled to break the law in a foreign country?

      • Keli Grantham Steadham

        Please, tell me how he broke the law again?

        • jon wisby

          He drove into Mexico with 3 guns and a pile of ammo.

    • Moe Greene

      He walked across and rented a hotel room in TJ before driving in with the guns. Why would he rent a hotel room if he didn’t plan on using it?

      He had 3 loaded guns within reach while he was driving his car in the US. He broke laws in both countries.

      • Jacqui Dunbar

        He rented the hotel in the afternoon and then checked out….there’s paper work proving that. And he already said he didn’t feel comfortable in the hotel room he picked because it looked dirty and dingy.

  • konadreamer

    Stop your whining! The reservist would not be in trouble if he’d not been packing weapons in his truck.

    • Elizabeth Millar

      F YOU TRAITOR!

      • jon wisby

        Why do you support a gun runner?

        • Keli Grantham Steadham

          Lolol. 3 guns makes you a gun runner? Realty? Lolol

          • jon wisby

            Accidentally went to Mexico!!!! LMAO!!!!!

    • Keli Grantham Steadham

      So we aren’t allowed to carry guns in our vehichles? That’s news to me.

    • Jacqui Dunbar

      He was moving to the area….All his possessions were on his truck!

      • jon wisby

        Moving to Mexico?

  • West Covina

    Thank You Mexico for preventing a mass killing from a PTSD with firearms.

    • marine

      You are a very simple minded individual. This marine has PTSD from protecting our country. How dare you label him as a mass killer, he has served this country with pride and honor. You need help.

  • scooterreh

    The only gun runners involved in this case are Eric Holder and Barry Obama. Why do you support them?

  • Tim Roberts

    Truth be told, it is IMPOSSIBLE to make a wrong turn into Mexico. I know, as I have been to TJ dozens of times. At the very worst, he could have stopped his car on the 15 and simply walked away and called Triple A to tow it. Even IF you miss the last US exit (which is VERY hard to do), you still have to deliberatly drive into Mexico (past a large checkpoint), then make a U-turn to exit. By that time however, you are in Mexico subject to Mexican laws. Sorry about the ex-Marine, but there is much more to this than we have been told. I seriously doubt that a Mexican, ex-military, found entereing the US illegally with weapons would simply be “sent home”, as we expect the Mexicans to do. To anybody reading this: DO NOT take guns, of any kind, under any circumstances into Mexico. They have a whole different approach to people and guns than we do.

    • Jacqui Dunbar

      Have you follow the story closely??? He did try to stop but was waved in by the lady in the booth.

      • jon wisby

        He lied!

        • Jacqui Dunbar

          Oh that’s right you were there. He also lied about the 911 call too.

          • jon wisby

            You cannot accidentally drive into Mexico, he got busted and is playing the victim.

          • Sebastian

            The 911 call was after he was pulled over and they were searching his car… you know what Id do if I just got caught smuggling weapons into Mexico? Make a call to make it look like it was an accident! He had also been across the border that same day renting a hotel room! Yeesh…. this guy is lying, why is he getting so much support?

  • Usedtobe Fishfry

    The truth of the matter is that this case is being handled exactly the same way many similar cases have been handled. The exceedingly slow Mexican legal system grinds onward, and the accidental crosser gets released in a few months. Once case took seven months. But this is a run of the mill criminal case. And on the evidence, Mexican authorities have every right to question Tahmooressi’s story.

  • Jacqui Dunbar

    To say, “Critics say the White House has not worked hard enough to win the release of Tahmooressi.” would imply the WH had done something about the situation…Well, I guess IGNORING Sgt. Tahmooressi, his family and over one hundred thousands signature petition to acknowledge Andrew’s case is doing something about it.

  • Jacqui Dunbar

    Yes, you can from where he was!! Especially if you aren’t familiar with the area which HE HAD NEVER driven it before. That ramp is misleading because it in San Ysidro’s direction.

    • Sebastian

      He had crossed the border there THREE times that week and once earlier THAT SAME DAY where he walked to a hotel and rented a room for that night!

      • Jacqui Dunbar

        Correction, he had visited Mexico THREE PRIOR TIMES, ONLY. First, a few days before March 31(a friend drove), SECOND, 3 DAYS earlier (a friend drove), THIRD, that same day, mid afternoon until 10:30. On his 2nd and 3rd visit, both Andrew and friend left their vehicle in a parking lot on the American side and walked across. When questioned if he hadn’t been paying attention the night his friend drove he admitted he had been drinking all night and wasn’t paying attention where he’s friend was driving.

  • Genevieve Benitez-Picone

    Boycott Mexico Tourism, and products that are from Mexico, until Sgt Tahmooressi is returned safely. Walmart is a big carrier of Mexico merchandise. If President Obama does not hear us or the State Department, as of today I boycott Mexico. I encourage friends , Facebook and media to join in. Perhaps they will hear this?

  • flagrante_delicto

    Nothing from John McCain . He ‘a too busy lobbying for his Free Syrian Army .