Washington D.C.—U.S. Congressman Duncan Hunter, a Marine Corps veteran of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, called on authorities in Mexico today to expedite Andrew Tahmooressi’s proceedings and release.  Tahmooressi, a Marine Sergeant who served combat tours in Afghanistan, is being held on weapons charges in a prison near Tijuana after mistakenly driving into Mexico with three legally-owned firearms.  

“Mexico has its own laws and processes, and we have a responsibility as neighbors to acknowledge and respect each other’s systems,” said Rep. Hunter.  “But Andrew’s actions were not deliberate: it was not his intention to enter Mexico.  He simply got lost at the border on his way to meet a friend.  Andrew is not a weapons trafficker and he’s not a criminal.  He is a U.S. Marine who had in his possession three legally-owned firearms.  If Mexico argues that makes Andrew a criminal, worthy of imprisonment, then a reality check is in order.  The facts have been presented and now it’s on Mexico to do the right thing. 

“Mexican authorities have set a hearing for the end of the month.  That’s too long, knowing that Andrew’s safety and well-being are at risk.  This entire situation can be resolved quickly, with Mexico expediting his proceedings and releasing him as soon as possible.” 

On Friday, Rep. Hunter wrote to Secretary of State John Kerry to call greater attention to Andrew’s situation.