Prison authorities in Tijuana, Mexico, have shackled a decorated U.S. Marine veteran of two combat tours in Afghanistan to his cot in a prison infirmary, restraining each of his limbs, on charges of introducing outlawed weapons into Mexico.
The Marine reservist, Andrew Tahmooressi, 25, who’s from Weston, Fla., outside Miami, drove his black Ford F-150 pickup through the San Ysidro, Calif., border crossing into Tijuana on April 1, carrying his worldly possessions, including three U.S.-registered firearms.
Tahmooressi, who suffers from what his mother calls “directional dysfunction,” got lost near the border after dark. He and his family say he took a wrong turn into Mexico.
Mexican prosecutors have slapped three firearms charges on him, and his fate has been clouded by an attempt to escape the La Mesa penitentiary April 6 that involved ninja-style scaling of a wall topped with coiled barbed wire.
Tahmooressi’s situation parallels that of a another Florida Marine veteran who was held for four months in a Mexican border prison in 2012 for carrying an antique shotgun in his motor home on his way to surf in Costa Rica. A media uproar and pressure from U.S. legislators helped win the freedom of that Marine, Jon Hammar, who grew up in Miami.