Should America Force Mexico To Free A US Marine They Busted With Guns?

Marine Sgt. Andrew Tahmorressi has been locked up in Mexican jails since March, when Federales arrested him for possessing firearms on their side of the border. Tahmorressi maintains he's incarcerated over a misunderstanding, and some members of Congress want to suspend US aid to Mexico until charges are dropped.

The Marine is slated to have his case heard in Mexican court on May 28th but family, friends, and some individuals in the US government have been rallying in support of his immediate release.

According to Fox News and others, Republican Representative Duncan Hunter of California asked Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel to "suspend military aid to Mexico, including training, intelligence cooperation and equipment transfers," until Tahmorressi is acquitted and returned to America.

Hunter wholeheartedly believes Tahmorressi made a simple mistake and had no intention of crossing the border or violating Mexico's laws.

Hunter has also made a case to Secretary of State John Kerry to address the issue, and gathered 21 members of Congress, from both sides of the aisle, to sign a letter imploring the Mexican Attorney General to set the Marine free.

On the surface, Tahmorressi's ordeal does sound like a shitstorm of "wrong place, wrong time."

The 25-year-old active Marine reservist's mother Jill told CNN her son had recently moved to the San Diego area to get treatment for post-traumatic stress disorder and was "essentially living out of his truck."

Tahmooressi he claims he was driving south to meet friends for Mexican food when he "missed an exit" and ended up in Mexico. (If you know this area; how valid is that possibility?) When he finally hit a checkpoint Mexican authorities took him into custody upon discovering weapons, which he owns legally in America.

CNN says Tahmooressi was packing an AR-15 rifle, .45 pistol, and a 12-gauge pump shotgun. Regardless of where you stand on the right to bear arms in general, there's no denying that's a pretty venerable loadout to bring on a ride to a restaurant. Then again, if the guy lives out of his truck, where else would he keep his possessions?

Regardless of why he had the heat in his truck Mexican gun laws are extremely strict, especially regarding weapons coming over the border. The US Consulate in Tijuana warns of thirty-year prisons sentences for possession of firearms.

Since his incarceration south of the border, it's been reported that Tahmooressi has tried to escape and even inflict a knife wound to his neck. It's easy to believe he hasn't had the warmest reception from cell mates either; it has been said the jail he's held at is more than twice over capacity.

Should the American government step in and supersede Mexican law to protect its citizen? Did Tahmooressi make an honest mistake, and if so is that a viable defense for breaking local laws in Mexico by carrying guns? There are a lot of questions this case continues to bring up, and so far there's no sign there will be any resolution until the case is heard in two weeks.

Image: AP