Thursday, May 8, 2014

Marine Veteran Hopes for Release from Tijuana Prison

Andrew Tahmooressi is being held at Tijuana's La Mesa Penitentiary. The 25-year-old Marine Corps combat veteran was arrested on weapons charges.

Link provided by Flying Junior, who lives in San Diego, with the following comment:

Just heard about this one.  Should fire up the faithful.  The consensus around here is the guy most likely had been drinking because it is very difficult to miss the border into Mexico.  Still, some claim it is plausible.  Interstate Freeway Five terminates at the Mexican border, but there are numerous signs warning of the approaching border, a sign that warns last U.S. exit and even a last ditch U-turn that leaves you in U.S. soil.

This guy just blew right up to the Mexico-U.S.A. border at San Ysidro and actually told Mexican Customs that he had three guns in the car.  Languishing in the Tijuana Penitentiary System awaiting trial.  They will no doubt figure out a way to send him home once he appears before a judge.  One funny thing about this story.  He actually tried to escape by climbing a wall and the Mexican guard was able to scare him back by firing into the wall instead of trying to kill him.  I think he wants the American Embassy to save him.

Andrew Tahmooressi said he was hoping for a new beginning when he drove from Florida to California in March, with all of his worldly possessions inside his Ford F-150 truck. The 25-year-old Marine reservist had dropped out of college, broken up with his girlfriend, and was uncertain of his future.
But a trip to Mexico certainly was not part of his plan, he said.
Tahmooressi is being held in a Tijuana prison on federal weapons charges — all the result, he said, of missing the last exit on Interstate 5 and accidentally crossing the border with three firearms.

Sgt. Andrew Tahmooressi --- is being held at Tijuana's La Mesa Penitentiary. The 25 year old Marine Corps combat veteran is being held on weapons charges. Alejandro Tamayo

“I never meant to be in Mexico,” Tahmooressi said in an interview Saturday afternoon at the La Mesa State Penitentiary. “I had no bad intentions, I had no intentions of smuggling my weapons, I had no intentions of selling them or anything of the sort.”
The charges include possession of two firearms meant for exclusive use of the Mexican military; bail is not permitted. If convicted, he faces six to 21 years in a Mexican prison, said his Tijuana attorneys.
Tahmooressi’s arrest in Mexico came less than two weeks after arriving in San Diego from Daytona Beach, where he had most recently been living. He had abandoned studies to be a pilot, then a mechanical engineer, and had recently broken up with his girlfriend. He had driven across the country with everything he owned, including a motorcycle, bicycle and three firearms: a 12-gauge shotgun, a .45 caliber pistol, and an AR-15, all registered.


  1. Here is the link to the article from the San Diego Union-Tribune:

    As far as I know it's not legal to drive around with weapons in the cab in California unless they are broken down or you have a CCW permit. Unfortunately there is no trunk in a Ford F-150. Cops here don't like people driving around with guns in their cars and neither do I. A peace officer is sworn to stop and question drivers under many different circumstances under the implied consent law. They don't need the added drama of disarming a potential threat. Moreover, an accident can occur at any time. A person needs to be ready to face law enforcement at any given moment when they are driving an automobile in the U.S. Also road rage can incite violence. Bad idea all around. Guys who need to drive around with their weapons in their cars are better off back in Florida.

  2. I can feel for the guy considering the last guy to make a wrong turn into Mexico under similar circumstances,

    "A Dallas truck driver who says he made a wrong turn into Mexico with a trailer full of ammunition may soon be released from a Mexican prison after paying a fine.

    Bogan, 27, has been in a maximum security prison in Veracruz since he crossed from West Texas into Juarez, Mexico, in April. He had faced up to 30 years in prison on an ammunition trafficking charge, but the judge reduced the charge to possession of ammunition after testimony from Mexican customs agents contradicted prosecutors’ claim that Bogan hid 268,000 bullets under floorboards."

    Seven months in a maximum security prison awaiting trial for taking a wrong turn. He would likely still be there if it hadn't been plea bargained down. There is no mention of how the weapons were stored in the cab. Junior, had you read anywhere else whether the firearms were properly cased? In most states, its perfectly acceptable to transport cased and unloaded firearms in the cab of a pickup. The guiding intent being that they aren't readily accessible to the driver. Can you tell us if California has similar rules regarding transport of firearms?

    1. Locked case for handguns. Long arms can be open so long as they are unloaded.

  3. I think you're right that a gun being unloaded and inside of a case would be legal inside a vehicle in California. I looked it up one time. If that was true in this case, that might help this man in the Tijuana courthouse. Just to prove that he was abiding by the laws of the State of California before missing the turn back to the U.S. I'm also glad that he wasn't able to kill himself or be killed by the guard.

    It's good news that the Dallas trucker can at least see the light at the end of the tunnel of his ordeal. His story seems believable. It almost amounts to being a political prisoner. I don't think Mexico is going to yield an inch on sovereignty to the U.S., considering the dangerous relationship between our two countries. A country that fifty years ago was just a playground to us Gringos.

  4. Again, I don't see any sympathy from Mike for a man imprisoned for simple gun possession. Instead we see name calling, like "stupid", "dangerous", and even the wildly speculative "drunk" accusation.

    1. Actually I have a lot of sympathy for this guy. The tags I used were the ones that seem to explain what happened. Even 40 years ago when I made that trip myself the signs warning of the approaching border crossing were so well posted, and so big, that it's hard to understand how anyone could miss them.

      So, yes I have lots of sympathy for guys like this, assuming they made an honest mistake and aren't trying to cover up a botched smuggling attempt - this guy seems like an honest one. The trouble he gets for this mistake is disproportionate to the act. It's exactly the opposite of the idiots who bring guns to the airport. The price they pay is too little.