by TONY PERRY
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.
“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.”
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.