A US combat vet from South Florida with two tours of duty in Afghanistan under his belt is unfortunately stuck in another tough spot. On April 1, Andrew Tahmooressi steered his black Ford pickup over the border into Mexico. Now a month later, he's reportedly chained to a cot in a Mexican prison, facing weapons charges and punishment for trying to make a jailbreak, the main piece of a potential diplomatic face-off between the two governments.
Tahmooressi grew up in Weston, graduated from Cypress Bay High School, and put in some time at Broward College before joining the Marines in 2008, according to his Facebook page.
While in the service, Tahmooressi served in two tour of duties with the 2nd Battalion, 6th Marine Regiment. In 2010, he was on the ground in the country's Marjah district for seven months. His second deployment was in the Helmand province, where the Marine earned a rare promotion to sergeant while in the field.
In 2012, Tahmooressi left the service with an honorable discharge. But according to family, he struggled throughout 2013 with the aftershocks of his time in the battlefield. Earlier this year, he borrowed a truck from his family and drove to California in order to receive PTSD treatment from the VA there.
Then, on April 1, with all his possessions in his car, Tahmooressi made a wrong turn at the border and ended up in Mexico.
"I accidentally drove into Mexico with 3 guns, a rifle (AR-15), a .45 cal pistol and a 12 gauge pump shotgun with no intentions on being in Mexico or being involved in any criminal activity," he later wrote in a statement to US politicians.
After being taken into Mexican custody, Tahmooressi was slapped with three weapons charges by authorities. He was held for two days in a border detention center before being transferred to La Mesa Penitentiary. While in general population, he attempted to escape the facility, scaling a barbed-wire fence. He was then placed in solitary confinement, where he reportedly stabbed himself in the neck with a bottle.
Tahmooresi was treated and placed in the infirmary, where he was bound to the bed to prevent escape. The next move is up in the air. Mexican authorities have talked about moving the Marine again to a different facility. Tahmooressi's family have been trying to rally members of congress to help find a diplomatic out for their son, but right now there's little indication the Mexican government is willing to kick loose the Marine.
Here's a link to a White House petition pushing for Tahmooressi's release.