- The Washington Times - Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Marine Sgt. Andrew Tahmooressi has been in captivity in Mexico for 101 days. On Wednesday, the veteran will finally go before a judge to address charges he violated Mexican gun laws by bringing three registered firearms into the country.

Andrew expressed his hope to be released on Wednesday as the judge will hear his statement and conclude non-intentional approach of the U.S.A.-Mexico border,” said his mother, Jill Tahmooressi, Fox News reported.

“We stand behind Andrew and believe the specific circumstances of this
case require Andrew to be returned to the U.S. immediately,” 74 lawmakers said in a letter sent Tuesday to the Mexican Judge Victor
Octavio Luna Escobedo.

“We believe the evidence supports Andrew’s claim that he mistakenly
entered into Mexico,” said the letter, which was penned by Rep. Duncan
D. Hunter Jr., California Republican, and 73 of his colleagues from
both sides of the aisle.

The evidentiary hearing Wednesday in a Tijuana courthouse will be Mr.
Tahmooressi’s first opportunity to tell his story after being jailed
for 101 days for violating Mexico’s strict gun laws when he crossed
the border with three registered firearms.

Sgt. Tahmooressi has asserted since his arrest that he accidentally entered Mexico through the San Ysidro, Calif., Port of Entry on March 31 after getting lost.

Mr. Hunter agreed and wrote: “One of the most compelling pieces of evidence [in Tahmooressi’s defense] is a 911 call Andrew made at the border checkpoint, where he stated he was unaware of his location,” Fox News reported.

Sgt. Tahmooressi, who suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder due to two tours in Afghanistan, has had three defense attorneys during his stay in El Hongo Prison in Tecate. His family hopes that his hearing on Wednesday will help bring about a close to the ordeal, but they know there are more obstacles to overcome.

“In Mexico, as in the United States, ignorance of the law, error, or failure to understand the consequences of violating the law do not exempt individuals from responsibility, regardless of intention,” said a fact sheet on Sgt. Tahmooressi’s case provided by the Mexican Embassy’s Press and Public Affairs Minister Ariel Moutsatsos Morales Basilio, Fox News reported.

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