The National  Memo Logo

Smart. Sharp. Funny. Fearless.

Monday, December 09, 2019 {{ new Date().getDay() }}

By Tony Perry, Los Angeles Times

SAN DIEGO — A bipartisan group of 21 members of Congress has appealed to the Mexican government to free a Marine veteran of Afghanistan who is being held on weapons charges in a prison in Tijuana.

Andrew Tahmooressi, 25, now in the Marine reserves, has been held in the La Mesa prison since April 1 after he was charged with being an arms trafficker.

Tahmooressi insists that he mistakenly drove across the border at San Ysidro in a truck stuffed with all of his possessions, including a handgun, rifle and shotgun.

Led by Reps. Duncan Hunter (R-CA) and Juan Vargas (D-CA), the 21 members of Congress sent a letter to the Mexican government through its embassy in Washington. A separate letter was sent by Rep. Scott Peters (D-CA) to Secretary of State John Kerry.

“We fully respect Mexico’s right to enforce its laws, but we believe Andrew is not a criminal or a weapons trafficker,” said the letter signed by Hunter, Vargas and the others. “He is a Marine Corps veteran who served his country honorably, and simply got lost in an area that he was unfamiliar with.”

The members of Congress hope that the Mexican attorney general will use his authority to drop the charges.

Tahmooressi had recently moved to San Diego from his home in Florida. He has said he was looking to meet with friends in San Ysidro but got confused in the lanes leading to the border crossing and missed the turnoff to remain in the U.S.

While in the La Mesa prison, Tahmooressi attempted to escape but gave up when a guard fired a warning shot. There is no indication that Mexican authorities plan to add an escape charge.

Tahmooressi served with the Camp Lejeune, N.C.-based 2nd Battalion, 6th Regiment, and was meritoriously promoted to sergeant. He is now in the Individual Ready Reserves.

He had moved to San Diego in hopes of receiving treatment for post-traumatic stress disorder at the Veterans Affairs hospital in La Jolla.

“I urge that everything possible be done to ensure his safety, well-being, fair treatment and quick return,” Peters wrote to Kerry.

Allen Ormond via Flickr.com

Start your day with National Memo Newsletter

Know first.

The opinions that matter. Delivered to your inbox every morning

For a long time, inflation has been the phantom of the American economy: often expected but never seen. But the latest Consumer Price Index, which showed that prices rose by five percent from May of last year to May of this year, raises fears that it is breaking down the front door and taking over the guest room.

The price jump was the biggest one-month increase since 2008. It appears to support the warning of former Treasury Secretary Larry Summers, who wrote in February that President Joe Biden's budget binge could "set off inflationary pressures of a kind we have not seen in a generation." Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell charged last month that the administration has already produced "raging inflation."

Keep reading... Show less

Close