Marine reservist jailed in Mexico ordered to remain in custody - San Diego, California News Station - KFMB Channel 8 - cbs8.com

Marine reservist jailed in Mexico ordered to remain in custody

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SAN DIEGO (CBS 8) - A Marine veteran who was arrested on weapons charges in Mexico was ordered to remain in custody after a hearing in Tijuana Wednesday that last nearly nine hours.

CBS News 8 has learned that along with Tahmooressi himself, two Mexican border agent who detained the 26-year-old at the border testified at the hearing, which lasted well into Wednesday evening.

Andrew Tahmooressi was arrested in late March after driving into Mexico with three legally registered firearms and several rounds of ammunition in his truck. He maintains he took a wrong turn on the California side of the border into Tijuana, Mexico. He was detained by Mexican border officials for having a .45 caliber pistol, 12-gauge pump shotgun and an AR-15 rifle.

Reporters were not allowed inside the courtroom Wednesday, but his mother Jill was seen walking into the courthouse.

Afterward, Jill Tahoe told reporters that the judge allowed her to talk with her son for twenty minutes, and that he is "strong and confident."

In the meantime, Tahmooressi's new attorney said after the hearing that he plans to focus on "multiple irregularities" that he claims occurred when his client was detained at the Mexican border, before he was officially arrested. He also said he is confident Andrew will ultimately be freed.

The Marine Corps reservist faced severe abuse and death threats in a La Mesa prison and attempted suicide after he suffered from PTSD. He says he made an innocent mistake.

"I feel like the punishment was never necessary from the beginning. I made it very obvious that it was a mistake for me to be here,” said Tahmooressi. “They even told me that they were going to escort me back to America, but once the [Mexican] military people got involved, they were like, 'Look what we found, we found these guns, good for us. Let's get this guy incriminated.' I don't think I deserve any punishment and I definitely don't deserve any more punishment. I deserve to be set free because I'm not a criminal."

Several members of Congress agree, sending a letter to the judge saying they stand behind Tahmooressi. Among those who signed the letter was Duncan Hunter, Scott Peters and Juan Vargas.

Tahmooressi is now being held in El Hongo Prison near Tecate with a 24-hour prison guard.

If convicted, he faces up to 21 years in prison. Tahmooressi’s next court hearing is scheduled for August 4.

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