Fight to free Marine from Mexican prison - San Diego, California News Station - KFMB Channel 8 - cbs8.com

Fight to free Marine from Mexican prison

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  • Marine jailed for driving into Mexico with guns

    Marine jailed for driving into Mexico with guns

    Saturday, May 3 2014 6:21 PM EDT2014-05-03 22:21:04 GMT

    A California congressman sent a letter Friday to Secretary of State John Kerry asking him to secure the release of a U.S. Marine veteran jailed in Tijuana after he drove into Mexico with three legally owned guns in his truck last month.

     

    A California congressman sent a letter Friday to Secretary of State John Kerry asking him to secure the release of a U.S. Marine veteran jailed in Tijuana after he drove into Mexico with three legally owned guns in his truck last month.

     
SAN DIEGO (CBS 8) - The mother of a former Marine sitting in Mexican jail continues to plead for her son's release.

Andrew Tahmooressi has spent more than a month in a Mexican prison after being arrested on weapons charges. He was arrested after he says he made a wrong turn into Mexico at the border and Mexican police found guns in his truck.

“He's one of my best friends - that any of us would take a bullet for,” said Sam Vranicar. 

Andrew Tahmooressi came to San Diego from Florida in January because his fellow Marine Sam Vranicar wanted him to have a place to get help.

"Being in fire fights on the regular - for more than seven months straight - you're not gonna be the same," Sam said. 

The 25-year-old machine gunner was diagnosed with PTSD after his two deployments to Afghanistan. He was receiving treatment at a local VA hospital, but since his arrest in Mexico friends fear the worst.

"He's got to feel like a POW right now - he's trying to escape,” said Robert Buchanan, who served in Afghanistan with Tahmooressi. 

Friends say Tahmooressi got lost at the border in a borrowed truck with everything he owned, including three legally purchased guns.
He was arrested on weapons charges and taken to the La Mesa prison where he quickly started acting out.

“They put him in a solitary room where he broke a light bulb and attempted to cut his neck,” Dana Vranicar said. 

Tahmooressi's mother, Jill has helped organize an online petition to free her son from Mexican jail. On Saturday, Andrew called her to say he was no longer chained to a cot and is optimistic lawmakers will secure his release.

Meanwhile, his friends in San Diego say they vow not to forget about their friend in need.

“I had a friend in December commit suicide from PTSD-related issues and that's not going to happen to my friend Andrew,” Sam Vranicar said. 

Congressman Duncan Hunter wrote a letter Friday to Secretary of State John Kerry urging the government to help Tahmooreesi get out.

For more information on the petition to release Tahmooressi, CLICK HERE >>.
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