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Arizona congressman to meet with Marine jailed in Mexico

PHOENIX — U.S. Rep. Matt Salmon (R-Ariz.) will meet Saturday with a Marine who has been jailed in Mexico on weapons charges for two months.

According to the Los Angeles Times, 25-year-old Sgt. Andrew Tahmooressi was arrested April 1 after taking a wrong turn into Mexico while driving from Florida to San Diego.

“It is a terrible mistake,” Salmon said.

Tahmooressi had served two tours in Afghanistan and suffered from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. He opted for the move to seek treatment.

While driving to San Diego, he made a wrong turn, something Salmon described as “very common.” That’s when things went south.

“He crossed over the border not knowing it and was apprehended by Mexican law enforcement officials,” said Salmon.

Tahmooressi told officials he was moving and had all of his possessions with him, including three firearms. He claimed it was his first time crossing the border, though Mexican officials claim they have video of him doing so at least one other time.

He was originally jailed near Tijuana, one with a reputation for tough treatment.

“I’ve heard reports that they kept him chained to a gurney for weeks at a time,” said Salmon. “That’s just reprehensible.”

Salmon added he could not confirm the reports of abuse.

Salmon, who heads the Western Hemisphere Subcommittee on Foreign Affairs, will meet with Tahmooressi and Mexican and American officials in an attempt to bring the veteran home.

“He has PTSD, he needs to be treated, he needs to be back with his loved ones and he’s not a criminal,” said Salmon.

A petition asking President Barack Obama to demand Tahmooressi’s release was filed on the White House website.

KTAR’s Martha Maurer contributed to this report.