SAN DIEGO, Calif. (KSWB/WSVN/CNN) – A decorated Marine is sitting in a Tijuana prison for what his mother says, is simply making a wrong turn.
The wrong turn led the Marine to the wrong side of the law, south of the border.
Andrew Tahmooresi seemed very happy to be leaving Afghanistan four years ago.
After two tours of duty, the decorated Marine came home, but with a lot of baggage.
“When he went to war, he went there by choice and he went there to serve his country, and he went there as a patriot and a hero, now he’s crippled. He’s crippled mentally, he’s crippled physically,” Jill Tahmooresi said.
Tahmooresi’s mother, Jill, says her son suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and gets lost easily.
“He called me to say mom, I got lost, I made a wrong turn and ended up at the Mexican border,” Jill recalls.
On April 1, the Marine ended up in the traffic lanes at the San Ysidro border crossing heading south.
Soon he found himself in Mexico explaining three guns in his truck.
“Heaven’s to Betsy you hear that your son is in jail, even worse when you hear it’s a foreign jail,” Jill said.
Tahmooresi was taken to the La Mesa Prison in Tijuana.
Guns are illegal in Mexico.
And he apparently didn’t see signs along the freeway warning people not to take guns south of the border.
“They didn’t let him just turn around, it was an innocent wrong turn,” Jill said.
Tahmooresi is now into his second month in prison, he’s scheduled for a hearing at the end of May.
“His life was threatened, he hurt himself. He’s been in the infirmary for the last ten days, he’s felt safe and secure — unlike like he felt the first six days of incarceration when he literally knew he was going to be killed,” Jill said. “This is harder than two tours when he got blown up by an IED, he had concussion, two tours in Afghanistan, this is by far the hardest, mainly because it’s the fear of the unknown.”
The U.S. Consulate in Tijuana has been visiting the Marine and helping out as much as possible.
But there’s not much it can do.
After the hearing at the end of May, a trial date could be set.
But that’s not guaranteed and it could be a long time before the Marine has his date in a Mexican courtroom.