Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) penned a letter to Mexican President Peña Nieto Friday over the "prolonged detainment" of Sgt. Andrew Tahmooressi.
"I am writing to bring to your immediate attention the status of U.S. Marine Corps veteran Andrew Tahmooressi, who was arrested on March 31, 2014, and remains in a prison in Mexico," McCain wrote.
[sharequote align="center"]"I am writing to bring to your immediate attention the status of...veteran Andrew Tahmooressi."[/sharequote]
"I recently spoke with Ambassador of Mexico to the United States Eduardo Medina Mora regarding this matter and I remain concerned about Mr. Tahmooressi's prolonged detainment," the Arizona senator added.
Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., speaks on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, Sept. 17, 2014, during a Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing on the U.S. strategy to defeat the Islamic State group. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)
The 26-year-old veteran of two tours in Afghanistan, who was being treated for PTSD related to his combat, says he accidentally crossed a California border checkpoint late March 31 and could not turn around before reaching the Mexican government checkpoint. Tahmooressi was in San Diego for treatment related to his PTSD and had all his possessions in his car, after previously moving from Florida. Despite declaring his three-registered weapons to agents at the border, Mexican authorities charged him with violating their gun laws.
McCain said that he believes the case is "rightfully a Mexican judicial matter," but stressed that he thinks Tahmooressi's action was "the clear result of an honest mistake."
"I continue to hope that your government will find, after the full examination of the facts of his case, that he committed an honest mistake; harbored no malign intent toward your country or its citizens; and, therefore, can be allowed to return home to the United States," McCain wrote.
The Arizona senator's letter came days after form talk show host and veteran Montel Williams made an emotional plea on Capitol Hill for President Barack Obama to intervene on Tahmooressi's behalf.
A bipartisan group of U.S. lawmakers sent a letter requesting his immediate return in July.
In August, the White House responded to a popular petition, calling on Mexico’s authorities to handle the case “expeditiously.” The White House, however, fell a step short of demanding Tahmooressi’s immediate release from prison.
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