‘It was a tragic mistake’: Mother of jailed Marine makes emotional plea for her son’s safe return

On March 31, Mexican federal officers arrested Marine Corps Sgt. Andrew Tahmooressi at a border crossing for weapons possession. He faces a sentence of six to 21 years in a Mexican prison for carrying his registered AR-15 rifle, .45-caliber pistol, and 12-gauge pump shotgun in his car across the border.

A 25-year-old decorated veteran and Florida native, Tahmorressi was in San Diego for a 10-day trip to undergo treatment for post-traumatic stress disorder when he took the wrong turn at the San Ysidro checkpoint. Tahmorressi had all his possessions in his vehicle because he was in the process of moving to San Diego for treatment. He declared his weapons, but Mexican federal agents confiscated them at the border as they took him into custody.

On Friday morning, TheBlaze received and released the last ditch 911 call placed by Tahmooressi just minutes before he was arrested. The fear in Tahmooressi’s voice is obvious as he tells the 911 operator, “The problem is I crossed the border by accident and I have three guns in my truck and they’re trying to take my guns from me.” The 911 operator replies, “There’s nothing I can help you with sir. I do apologize.”

On radio this morning, Tahmooressi’s mother Jill joined Glenn to discuss the status and condition of her son. Tahmooressi was originally held in Tijuana’s La Mesa Penitentiary, where he was placed in general population and his life was threatened. He was then moved to solitary confinement and shackled to a bed for nearly 30 days before being moved to a maximum-security prison about 40 miles outside of Tijuana last week. As Jill emotionally explained, her son made “a tragic mistake,” and she just hopes action will be taken to bring him home safely.

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“Glenn, it was a tragic mistake,” Jill said. “I’ve been praying for you to follow Andrew’s fight for freedom. Thank you for reaching out to me.”

“I’m sorry it’s taken a while for me to get on board,” Glenn responded. “But I have been following it on TheBlaze, and I know that we have covered it on many of our shows. I’ve been now on it myself to cover it today because I want to find out what we can do.”

Jill said she is relieved the audio from the 911 call was released today because it renew the conversation surrounding her son’s release. She once again explained that he son had no intention of crossing the Mexican border. She received a phone call from her son around 2:30am EST on March 31, in which he frantically explained the situation he found himself in.

“New just surfaced – by the grace of God – of his 911 call. He called me, but I didn’t know that he had first called 911. So the instinct was, ‘I’m in trouble. Let me call 911.’ So that just came out last night. And it did exonerate him,” Jill said. “It validates what I have been saying for seven weeks now – that my son didn’t mean to be in Mexico. It was an accident. I’m just so prayerful that there will be due process and the truth will come out and they’ll release him.”

During his time in prison, Andrew has been able to somewhat keep in contact with his mother. In a phone call from Tijuana’s La Mesa Penitentiary, Andrew explained the threat he was under and begged his mother not to travel to Mexico out of fear for her life. Despite the fact that she dealt with her son’s deployment for two years, Jill admitted she has never been so afraid for her son’s safety.

“Two years of combat duty in Afghanistan, and I have never been so afraid in my life and just on my knees praying to my Lord to protect him,” Jill said. “He only wants to get back to America to get well, to get in recovery for his PTSD, and to be a law-abiding citizen in America like he always has been.”

Jill said that she has received support from several congressmen including Florida Democratic Senator Bill Nelson and Representatove Debbie Wasserman Schultz. Her biggest help, however, has come from Rep. Duncan Hunter (R-CA), whose district covers the border where Sgt. Tahmooressi crossed.

“Representative Hunter has been so much of an advocate of trying to help through diplomatic and political avenues to just help Mexico understand that it’s a grievous mistake,” Jill said. “Every day we pray. Every day and we ask for protection over Andrew and the guards as well that are guarding Andrew. But yes, God is merciful.”

Glenn vowed that TheBlaze will continue to do everything it can to raise the awareness that will hopefully facilitate Andew’s safe return.

We’ll do our best, and TheBlaze will stay on it,” Glenn said. “I grew up near the Canadian border and I’m sure it’s different, but probably not so much. I mean back in the day there are parts where you live up on the Canadian border and literally you turn down one side of the street, you go one direction, and you’re in Canada. You go the other direction and you stay in America. And if you don’t know where you’re going, it’s very easy for this to happen… We will pray for the best. Jill, thank you very much. God bless.”

  • Brunski

    This is the second time a veteran was caught with a weapon in Mexico! This borders on stupidly! Entering another Country is Not as simple as making a wrong turn!
    Come on…everybody knows Mexico is not a place you want to get caught doing anything wrong!

  • John Samuel Wilson

    HEY! The guy was new to the area and got lost. Have YOU ever driven in San Diego?

  • Anonymous

    PRESIDENT OF MEXICO,
    You are holding one of our Marines as a prisoner….Marine Sgt. Andrew Tahmooressi. This is NOT the first Marine that has been arrested by Mexico. Your previous arrest put one of our Marines in a prison run by your Drug Cartel. It is just south of Arizona.
    Release this Honorable Marine or find homes for our 20,000,000 illegals much sooner than you expect.
    Delores Smith
    Delores109@cox.net

  • Anonymous

    I’m thinking the same. He was at a border crossing and made a wrong turn? Please explain in detail how he got into Mexico! How was the wrong turn made? Was this whole thing a setup?

  • Anonymous

    We have been Mister Nice Guy for too long. We need a government with some intestinal fortitude and start doing the same to all the border crossers and drug runners. Send the message “NO MORE MISTER NICE GUY!” I know that is just wishful thinking.

  • Brunski

    Look, I hope he gets out. My son is in the Military, soon to deployed to Saudi Arabia.

    But another Big Red Flag is…he was going to SD to…undergo treatment for post-traumatic stress disorder.

    What hell was he taking 3 weapons with him?

    Someone who needs to undergo treatment for post-traumatic stress disorder… should Not be carry weapons!

  • Anonymous

    I am mexican american which gives me more right than you non mexican americans .Even i dont want these illegals here, it is not good for our country .We as a nation of laws need to enforce those laws .Hell we do nothing to illegals like mexico does to immigrants from central and other latin american countries they are as cowardly as their towel head counterparts.

  • Bret McDanel

    when you go to a foreign country you must follow their laws. How hypocritical is it for people in the US to demand that foreigners follow US laws while here but then do not want to have foreign laws applied to US people when they go abroad?

    The guy entered a foreign country. Having seen many border crossings and even the 911 call he made regarding this had comments about how there are signs “last chance to exit before going into mexico”.

  • Anonymous

    Why don’t we just go in there and take him by force? Send a few navy seals in there and He will be home in no time

  • Anonymous

    Meanwhile back in the US, our government has released thousands of convicted illegal alien felons awaiting deportation back into society, murderers, rapists, you name it. Within a day of two of this info being released to the public, this fraudulent prez is announcing he’ll do an executive order to stop all deportations and congress is pressing for something to be done about amnesty. Seriously???

  • Cody

    You want to talk hypocritical? How about 36,000 Illegal criminals, most Mexican, many for rape, murder, robbery and child abuse being released on our streets. How about many incursions of the Mexican military across OUR sovereign borders, pointing guns at our border patrol and NOTHING done.

    Go screw yourself Bret.

  • Cody

    Obviously because dear feckless, subversive leader doesn’t care about real Americans, only illegal criminals that have invaded our borders, out of love.

  • Cody

    When will democraps and libturds realize Obama is a dangerous nation destroyer and they are only useless idiots. They think he sides with them. They are a danger to our National security.

  • Peter Guthrie

    Read the article: he had them because he was MOVING for his treatment.

  • Cody

    Yet nothing is done to 30+ million Illegals invading our sovereign nation. If this is how Mexicant wants to do things, then maybe theirs should be shot as soon as they enter.

  • JBinGA

    exactly my thought! We demand they follow our laws???!!! Since when??? They come here illegally and get away with more than any legal American!

  • Cody

    Somehow, I don’t think Brunski can read.

  • Shawn Cameron

    Remember Michael Fay, the little punk who got caught stealing and vandalizing property in Singapore and basically got sentenced to a spanking?? Remember what a big deal Clinton made of getting him back? What are we doing to get this Marine back?

  • Cheryl

    Just because a veteran has PTSD, that doesn’t automatically mean they loose their right to have firearms

  • Brunski

    Yea I read that Part…. but anybody needing mental treatment… should Not be Caring weapons, until the have been determined to be STABLE!
    This is Only common sense. His family must have been aware of this.

  • Brunski

    That is true… and I agree that we need to control the border.. absolutely!
    But treating people humanly is why America is different than the majority of the rest of the world. They live in a dog eat dog world!

  • Brunski

    that is not their fault… that is our fault. We are the jerks ( current Administration) who allowed this .

  • http://truthofg.blogspot.com/ Connor Kenway

    I say if I were in charge of this country I would refuse to send them even a cent in aid until we got our fellow American back. Which I know Obama does not have the balls to do.

  • ANTHONY CLIFFORD

    Sorry, but not everyone whom has PTSD needs to have their firearms taken away. In many cases, being without a firearm causes some problems for those suffering. Try carrying a rifle in a high stress environment for a year and then have people take it away from you because you can’t be trusted with it. I never had PTSD and when I had to adjust to an environment where you only use a gun on the range, it felt unsafe. Anyone who’s been deployed in a combat role will tell you the same thing.

  • Cheryl

    Having PTSD doesn’t
    mean that a person is mentally unstable. Active duty upon returning
    from combact and before exiting the military are evaluated. This Marines actions do not show any sign of being unstable by his 911 call or what has already been reported. I would trust him more with a firearm than anyone off the street even knowing he was diagnosed with PTSD.

  • bob machaffy

    That’s what happens when you cross their mexican border with guns and drugs.
    What happens when they cross the USA border, they get the red carpet,
    welfare, free medical. free housing, free food stamps, free child care, free school and college.

  • Cheryl

    Thank you Anthony. Well said

  • Deckard426

    The only thing worse that could have happened to Tahmooressi, is if he’d been sent to a VA hospital.

  • Jacqui Dunbar

    Several us citizens, including ex-marine Jon Hammar, link below, have been in this position before….Where’s our government??? They’re the first one to encourage/promote our young teenagers while in high schools to put their lives in harms way to serve either here or in other countries, and when one of their our own gets trapped/stuck else where they don’t come out and demand his or her release unless there’s something politically to be gain by it. What kind of relationship agreement does US have with Mexico? We return their illegals, even in cases where they’ve committed crimes in our soil, but we can’t get one of our heroes out of their jails for making a mistake of driving 100yds into their land. I get it! It’s their country, their laws, but don’t we have a “some-what” symbiotic relationship with Mexico? Yearly travel alone it’s in the millions. Shouldn’t there be some sort of written/established policy about this sort of thing with Canada and Mexico? Particularly Mexico since there are some gray areas lacking signs and turn around point options that are wide open unprotected by US officials. Specifically for the unfamiliar traveler/us citizen who can not be certain where the dividing line is at particular spots along the border. What and where is American ambassador to Mexico, Earl Anthony Wayne, in all this??? Get this man out of that country, or have they bought us too? This is ridiculous!!! If this administration can’t or won’t do anything about this situation, perhaps it should be handed to this marine’s fellow brothers/sisters, they know what Semper fi truly means.
    .http://abcnews.go.com/US/us-marine-veteran-imprisoned-mexico-arms-charges/story?id=17935897

  • Anonymous

    I grew up on the Mexican border and lived there for 42 years. It is a big mistake for this mother to make a public case of this, All they want is money! Pay the ransom. However, it may be too late since she has made a public case of this. Mexico is not a nation as we understand it. it is a criminal enterprise. The cartels are just another group of criminals, along with the military and the government. That is what most people in this country fail to understand and recognize.

  • Bret McDanel

    I think you need to look up the definition of the word hypocrisy, you dont appear to be using it correctly. You did show a good example of yourself being hypocritical in that you appear to think they should follow our laws but seem to think this guy shouldnt follow theirs.

    the hypocrisy that I was speaking of was people like Glenn and it seems others in this thread saying they have to follow our laws but this guy should be let go and sent home. Either people have to follow the laws where they are or they dont. Its hypocritical to say we shouldnt have to follow theirs but they must follow ours.

  • Anonymous

    He sure as heck can’t write! As a matter of act, his inabilitiy leads me to question his mental stability in publishing his disability in such a public forum. Brunski diefinitely should not be allowed to own a weapon.

  • Bret McDanel

    People with mental illnesses not being allowed to have guns (as Glenn has talked about before) only applies to the ones that he disagrees with. The ones he agrees with on any level nothing is said and he tries to invoke compassion on their behalf.

  • http://www.absoluteintensity.com dennis reilly

    The commander in chief should be down there helping one of his men, but not this guy Obama, he has not done a damn thing, he is a heartless human being for not helping one of his men

  • Jacqui Dunbar

    Having PTSD does not make you automatically gun crazy….Not everyone has the same severity and/or issues. You certainty do not know the particulars of his situation. I like to point out, when he went for treatment he was not ordered to relinquish his weapons. It is standard procedure for examiners to order/take all weapons from the soldier if they have the slightest discern the soldier may be a threat/danger to him/herself or anyone else. Besides he had all his possessions in the truck with him.

  • Jacqui Dunbar

    The interviewee in this video said, he got out of a $7 all-day parking lot and made a left then right turn instead of a left then left turn which put him in a Straight to Mexico border lane without any turn around exit. Also this site has more information.. https://www.facebook.com/freeusmctahmooressifrommexicanjail?fref=nf

  • Anonymous

    It is no to say that he shouldn’t have his military weapons, but being so close to the border and checking through a border checkpoint with three guns in the car???? Read the article, he was going through a border checkpoint!!!!

  • Anonymous

    Maybe that’s because America’s laws are soooo selective solely for the purpose of votes. If there are some 30 million illegals here, how do you suppose they will vote in November?

  • Brunski

    sorry, unfortunately… my thinking goes faster than my ability to write. Need to proof read more often… But you get the message. I guess I got under your skin!

  • Brunski

    why take a chance? Lets wait to be sure.
    The system fails.. remember the recent shooting at the base?
    He could of left his weapons at home with his mother.

  • Anonymous

    The U.S. Government under the Obama monarchy in 2009 officially declared all U.S. soldiers and veterans public enemies, Expect no diplomatic help from those quarters.

  • Jacqui Dunbar

    I’m not sure you heard the recording carefully.. He clearly states, “I’m not sure if I crossed the border yet.” The 911 operator does say that there are warning signs on the freeway saying that it is illegal to carry weapons into Mexico and he replies by, ” Yeah, I was hoping there was a turn around point but there wasn’t one.” Then she repeats herself “There are signs before you cross the border.” at which he insists, “No, there wasn’t a turn around point here.” there is a huge turn around sign on the freeway but he responds is. “I’m not really sure if I crossed the border yet.” The point here is, this is clearly a mistake from his part, I get it. However, there is no need to mistreat, torture this man. Mexico’s main focus should be in ridding its country of all drug lords and corruption within their own borders. Charging one, single American marine veteran, with 21yrs of imprisonment for accidentally driving 500 yards into their country with his truck full of all of his possessions including 3 legally US acquired weapons is totally ludicrous.

  • Bret McDanel

    I am not sure you read my post correctly. Your response indicates you did not because that is not what I was talking about.

    Like many who disagreed with my post it appears to be unclear. I was not saying the marine is a hypocrite, I was not saying the US government is a hypocrite I was saying Glenn is because he insists that US law be enforced and followed by all especially immigrants and others who have commented on this thread have made similar comments yet they talk about how the marine should be released or its a travesty that he was even arrested. You cant have that both ways, and that was my point.

    charging someone with illegal importation of firearms is not ludicrous. I am sure if mexican drug lords were crossing the border with them you would insist they be charged. Or is your argument that he is a marine and thus exempt from the laws? Either way he is apparently facing 7 years per weapon while the US charges 10 years per weapon for the same violation.

  • Crassus

    Brunski, you’re about the only poster on this topic that makes any sense at all. I hope the guy gets freed but he’s only got himself to blame for the predicament he’s now facing.

  • Anonymous

    I would give them 48 hours to release the man. If that did not happen I would round up every last Mexican and back to Mexico they would go with no questions asked. Obama needs to grow a pair. I have no idea as to how we can tolerate Obama for three more years.

  • Anonymous

    I have PTSD, Vietnam. I have guns. Am I going to shoot up anything that moves? I don’t think so. We have enough to deal with already now you say take away our guns. Our government and a lot of our own people have a lot to do with the problems we have. So now live with it we do.

  • Anonymous

    Have you any idea as to what PTSD is? Do you have any idea what will happen when you take away a PTSD patients firearm? Why do you think they check to see if the doors are locked, not once, not twice but somethings three times and they do it within a few minutes of each other. You need to read up on PTSD.

  • Anonymous

    It is called common sense, something that the world is void of at this time.

  • Anonymous

    How do you enter Mexico without driving through a checkpoint? I never was able to drive to Mexico without some checkpoint.

  • Jeff Noncent

    this is ashamed for the American people, and its a sad day for this nation

  • Kitcrsn

    Only liberal Demorats would allow a U.S. Marine to rot in a filthy Mexican prison. It’s all about the illegal alien Mexican vote.

  • Anonymous

    This is terrible however I believe there is more to the story. I have heard he had been to Tijuana 3 times prior to this trip. If so, then why was he not familiar with the road this time? And why would you go into Mexico or even near it with weapons knowing the fate that would befall you? Nonetheless, this Marine needs to be released–heck, we just released 36,000 of theirs!!

  • Anonymous

    I was simply amused. If you are encouraged to proofread, then it’s all to the good. BTW, my middle name is typo. I will even use a dictionary at times. Example: Spell Check will not catch that “proofread” is a compound word. This is absolute proof that I am old!

  • Anonymous

    I have this piece of advice for all returning veterans: Do not get a mental evaluation from the VA upon returning. They will turn in your name to the Obama administration which will confiscate your weapons. That advice goes for all veterans. Do not even talk about nightmares with any VA personnel. Do not, in other words, trust the government.

  • Pt2738

    And what do we do with illegals when they cross OUR BORDER???? This is an outrage!!!

  • Anonymous

    Hussein Obama &Eric Holder should be in jail in Mexico, remember Fast & Furious the two Low Life above. They are a poor excuse for a human being. LORD HELP US.

  • SRM29

    How can you not comprehend what we keep telling you? NO ONE is saying Americans don’t have to follow Mexican laws! This Marine DID NOT try to enter Mexico with weapons! It was an honest mistake, and the Mexican authorities refused to be reasoned with. There is no reason they couldn’t have given him a stern warning, detained him for 24 hours, whatever, and sent him back the way he came. No, they arrest him, while knowing he wasn’t trying to cross the damn border.

    Mexico is supposed to be an ally. We put up with their crap every day. The least the Mexican government could do is look into the matter and see that it was a mistake.

  • Bret McDanel

    how can you not comprehend what I keep telling you?

    The marine DID ENTER MEXICO WITH WEAPONS. That alone is the crime. There is no mens rea element.

    That is the hypocrisy I keep speaking of when people insist that US laws must be followed but this guy should be let off with just a warning and sent home.

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  • william

    IF WE HAD A REAL PRESIDENT THIS MAN WOULD HAVE BEEN RELEASED ALREADY , THIS SO CALLED PRESIDENT COULD CARE LESS , AND YES I KNOW THIS ARTICLE HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH THE PRESIDENT BUT THE THIS IS AN AMERICAN BEING HELD ILLEGALLY BY A PIECE
    OF CRAP SO CALLED NATION .

  • mzungu

    Dirt bag

  • mzungu

    Yeah i have not studied much about Mexico but it must be a horrible nation to have so many leaving it. I do not know much about being a Marine but I would be doing what I could from the inside to plot on how to really wreck the place.