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U.S. Marine In Mexican Jail Is Now Free, Mexican Judge Orders

Posted: October 31, 2014

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Andrew Tahmooressi said he made a wrong turn and ended up across the border in Mexico with his legally registered guns, which were illegal in Mexico. He has been in a Mexican jail for seven months.

Jill Tahmooressi stands outside the Mexican Consulate in Miami, in May to protest the arrest of her son in Mexico. He was released by a federal judge in Mexico today.

Jill Tahmooressi stands outside the Mexican Consulate in Miami, in May to protest the arrest of her son in Mexico. He was released by a federal judge in Mexico today. J Pat Carter

A U.S. Marine held in a Mexican jail since March was ordered free by a Mexican judge on Friday.

If you remember, Andrew Tahmooressi, 26, said he made a wrong turn and ended up across the border in Mexico with his legally registered guns, which were illegal in Mexico.

Mexican authorities hit him with a wide range of federal weapons charges and threw him in jail, while he awaited trial.

U-T San Diego reports that the Mexican Attorney General's Office has agreed not to prosecute Tahmooressi. The paper adds:

"The agreement brings to a close a high-profile case that has resounded far beyond the border. In the United States, it has prompted calls for his release from politicians, veterans groups, conservative talk show hosts. But for months there had been an impasse, as Mexican federal prosecutors insisted that the case be resolved through the courts — not through diplomatic or political pressure.

"Tahmooressi, 26, claims that he drove into Tijuana by mistake on a Monday night after taking a wrong turn near the Mexican border in San Ysidro. He recently had moved from Florida to San Diego, and says that he was driving out of a parking lot, intending to head north. But instead he drove into the El Chaparral Port of Entry, where Mexican customs inspectors examined his pickup truck and found more 400 rounds of ammunition and three loaded firearms: a 45-caliber pistol, a 12-gauge shotgun and a 5.56mm assault rifle."

The AP reports that in announcing his release, Tahmooressi's family said they were relieved and humbled.

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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