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Judge Orders Release of U.S. Marine Sgt. Andrew Tahmooressi from a Mexican Prison

November 1, 2014  |  Posted by: Giovanni DePhillips
Judge Orders Release of U.S. Marine Sgt. Andrew Tahmooressi from a Mexican Prison Image courtesy of theblaze.com

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Free At Last–FOX News is reporting Sgt. Andrew Tahmooressi, the U.S. Marine who crossed the US Mexican border has been released by a Mexican judge after 214 days in a Mexican prison, on Friday night.

He boarded a private jet for Florida shortly after 9 p.m., after a strong diplomatic push convinced a judge to release the former Marine on humanitarian grounds.

Tahmooressi’s release comes after a lengthy trial in a Mexican court and a Congressional hearing in September highly critical of the Obama Administration’s efforts to secure his release and Mexico’s refusal to let him go.

Tahmooressi said he made an innocent mistake the evening he crossed into Tijuana with three weapons in his truck on March 31.

Although his defense rested its case several weeks ago, Tahmooressi’s release came only after a strong diplomatic push from former Gov. Bill Richardson of New Mexico and Reps. Ed Royce (R-CA) and Matt Salmon (R-AZ).

The three officials, along with Tahmooressi’s mother Jill, have spent the last week in Tijuana pressing officials for his release.

Speaking by phone on his way to board a plane with Tahmooressi, Richardson said the trio, along with talk show host Montel Williams, met with Mexico’s Attorney General and Ambassador to the US, advocating for his liberation.

Upon release, Mexican officials processed him quickly through immigration, Richardson said.

“He was happy.  He was smiling.  He’s looking good.  His spirits are high,” Richardson told Fox News, adding that Tahmooressi said he wants a steak dinner and stone crabs.

But Richardson also said Tahmooressi is seeking privacy and still needs to receive treatment for his Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, something that wasn’t available in the Mexican prison– a key argument put forth by defense attorney Fernando Benitez.

Benitez said that Tahmooressi was continuing to deteriorate and Mexico didn’t have the expertise or facilities to treat his PTSD, which he suffered after two tours in Afghanistan.

The defense attorney also alleged that customs agents held Tahmooerssi illegally, denying him access to a translator, lawyer and consular access.

But after the seven-month ordeal, it was the PTSD argument that ultimately pressured the judge to acquit Tahmooressi.

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