Secretary of State John Kerry mentioned the plight of a Marine reservist jailed in Mexico to Mexican authorities during his two-day visit this week, his spokesman said.
The spokesman declined to provide details of the conversation and it remains unclear what effect Kerry’s involvement might have for Marine Sgt. Andrew Tahmooressi, who has remained jailed since April 1 on weapons charges.
Tahmooressi, 25, who served two tours in Afghanistan, was arrested at the Mexican side of the San Ysidro crossing when border guards found three weapons in his truck. The weapons were legal in the U.S. but illegal in Mexico.
Tahmooressi says that he mistakenly drove across the border when he missed the last turnoff to stay in the U.S.
A hearing is set for May 28 in which the issue of Tahmooressi’s post-traumatic stress disorder may be crucial. Supporters hope that the charges can be dropped.
While he is held in El Hongo prison outside Tijuana, Tahmooressi has had regular visits with a pastor and a Mexican lawyer and was allowed to visit with his mother, Jill Tahmooressi, of Florida. The U.S. consulate in Tijuana is monitoring the case.
Rep. Duncan Hunter (R-Alpine), a Marine veteran of Iraq and Afghanistan, has asked the State Department and the Marine Corps to come to the aid of Tahmooressi.
The Marine had recently moved to San Diego in hopes of receiving treatment for post traumatic stress disorder at the Veteran Affairs hospital in La Jolla.
In a letter this week to Marine Commandant Gen. James Amos, Hunter outlined Tahmooressi’s combat experience in Afghanistan.
In one firefight, “Andrew directed accurate fire on the Taliban position and saved the lives of the 8 Marines,” Hunter wrote.
In another incident, Hunter wrote, Tahmooressi rushed to help a Marine badly injured by a roadside bomb and by “applying three tourniquets to the injured arm and legs and taking other actions... helped save the Marine’s life.”