Marine Andrew Tahmooressi has finally been sprung from a Mexican jail..
A Mexican federal district judge in Tijuana on Friday ordered the immediate release of a U.S. Marine veteran behind bars in Baja California on federal weapons charges.
Andrew Tahmooressi was on trial for crossing the border with ammunition and three loaded weapon on March 31. The Mexican Attorney General’s Office agreed to cease its prosecution of Tahmooressi and allow him to return to the United States.
The agreement brings to a close a high-profile case that has resounded far beyond the border. In the United States, it has prompted calls for his release from politicians, veterans groups, conservative talk show hosts. But for months there had been an impasse, as Mexican federal prosecutors insisted that the case be resolved through the courts — not through diplomatic or political pressure.
Tahmooressi, 26, claims that he drove into Tijuana by mistake on a Monday night after taking a wrong turn near the Mexican border in San Ysidro. He recently had moved from Florida to San Diego, and says that he was driving out of a parking lot, intending to head north. But instead he drove into the El Chaparral Port of Entry, where Mexican customs inspectors examined his pickup truck and found more 400 rounds of ammunition and three loaded firearms: a 45-caliber pistol, a 12-gauge shotgun and a 5.56mm assault rifle.
His release from El Hongo State Penitentiary outside Tecate was ordered by Judge Victor Octavio Luna Escobedo of the Sixth Federal District Court in Tijuana. Had Tahmooressi been convicted, he would have faced from seven to 21 years behind bars.