New lawyer: Marine won’t get out of Mexican jail soon

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TIJUANA, Mexico — Fernando Benitez, Andrew Tahmooressi’s new lawyer, asked people to be patient as he awaits a court hearing to be set in Tijuana.

Benitez was hired last week and has begun preparing the case, which is laid out in hundreds and hundreds of legal documents.
fernando Benitez new shotTahmooressi crossed into Mexico with three weapons and 400 rounds of ammo on March 31. Guns and ammunition are illegal in Mexico. He was arrested and has been in prison ever since.

Benitez is Tahmooressi’s third defense lawyer. The first one was fired on the eve of the Marine’s court hearing on May 28. The second lawyer was also dismissed for not having enough experience and for “not inspiring confidence” in the Tahmooressi family.

Benitez is a well-respected lawyer with 20 years of experience. A few years ago, he successfully represented former Tijuana Mayor Jorge Hank Rhon, who faced gun possession charges.

Late Monday afternoon, Tahmooressi’s new lawyer planned to petition the federal court in Tijuana for a new court hearing for his client.

“I would ask people to be patient, there’s going to be an outcome, I hope it’s an outcome everybody likes, but it’s not going to be tomorrow,” said Benitez.

Tijuana’s Federal Court is expected to issue a hearing date for Tahmooressi by the end of the week.


  • Guest

    Imprison any Mexican military or Police that crosses American Borders and hold until they release our guy.

    • 5thGenSDiegan

      That would be illegal. Do you have any idea on how strict Mexican gun laws are?

      Literally… It would be like a Mexican national "accidentally" driving into the states with 5 lbs of heroin in his car. Do you not see this?

  • Close the border

    until He is Back on US SOIL!!

    • 5thGenSDiegan

      If you haven't noticed yet, our cross border relations are extremely important to the economy.

  • joshboardfox5

    I can't get fired up about this guy being held captive, because so much of his story is fishy.

    • ᙓᔕᙅO

      Seems all Tahmooressi had to do was make a phone call to the BP while he was in traffic to announce his dilemma so they can react accordingly. Why didn't he call anyone?

      • reply

        He did call, he called 911 and they said there was nothing they could do. When a person panics they will not think logically and go "hmm im going to call BP.. he thought what anyone of us would do and call 911…

    • Jon

      When the conspiracy theorists get involved everything, including going to the store for groceries becomes suspicious. I have been to the southern border and in many areas, the paranoia is well over hyped and there is much reported as happening that is not. I believe that this is merely a case of a guy getting in the wrong lane, then trying to get home when the Mexican Police decided to nab him. I doubt that the SGT was there on some "mission" or that he was involved in any wrongdoing other than "wrong place, wrong time"

  • Linda

    The guy we just traded 5 of the most dangerous men in the world for willingly left his comrades in what was basically a war zone, walked into the welcoming arms of our enemies, all-the-while saying he was ashamed to be an American. Shortly before Tahmooressi crossed the border he was diagnosed with PTSD from his tours of duty in Afghanistan and in need of treatment. Does anyone really think there is a legitimate excuse for not forcefully negotiating with Mexico to bring him home, no matter what his reason for crossing the border?

  • SgtSlaughter

    They will release him…eventually. And I say, give him a weapon as soon as he crosses into US territory, then allow him to turn around and take out all the SOBs that have held him.

    • BillyGoat

      You are obviously living in RAMBO world. They need to take your guns away before you hurt yourself or others.

  • Jon

    I have friends and family who own timeshares in Mexico, in a couple of their resort town. But after this I have scheduled my next trip to Mexico, for about thirty minutes after hell freezes over. If this is how they treat U.S. citizens who's intent as so obviously innocent, then I have no need to visit nor to spend my money there, and I have demanded that my Congressional reps do all they can to cease any and all aid that country.

  • Chris C

    Why isnt Obama doing anything about this … He is the leader of the free world right? The President of the United States… isnt he suppose to lead us and look out for us. He suppose to have power and influence? So he can make a deal with the Taliban on whom we are ENEMIES with… But he cannot help our Marine who is in a country on whom we do business with? You people say theres something shady about the Marine… Do you not see something even shadier here? Its ok to release 5 high ranking/high profile terrorist for ONE deserter (Dealings with Enemy) but you dont care about a Marine who was lost, tried calling 911 for help!?!!?!?!

    • buckaroo

      Pick up the damn phone and tell the Mexican president to release our Marine in 1 hour or else,and then back it up with force,not your usual bullcrap diplomacy.

      • ᙓᔕᙅO

        It's not that easy, our two countries have other areas of cooperation that would be effected. For example, right now we're trying to get 'El Chapo' Guzman on American soil and we need Mexico's cooperation here and on other various matters. Simply overpowering them now might turn them off later when we'll need their assistance again.

    • 5thGenSDiegan

      He didn't call for help from what I read. As anyone who knows when crossing the border, there are anywhere from 5-10 CBP officers checking traffic BEFORE you entire Mexico. He probably could have stopped and talked with them…! But no, he thought he wouldn't get caught with the guns, and unfortunately is paying the price. Mexico will release him, they are just making him an example on how tough their laws are. What they are doing is not illegal. Literally, its the exact same as a Mexican national accidentally driving into the US with 5 lbs of heroin. Their gun laws are just as strict as our drug laws.

  • navydude1986

    This FORMER marine is getting treated the same way that any jailed american is being treated in a foreign country. His constantly firing attorneys isn't helping him get released either. Whether he made a wrong turn or not, he broke the law and got arrested for it. He'll get release eventually but the Government isn't going to levy any major action to retrieve a FORMER serviceman from jail.
    As the Commandant of the Marines said in his released letter, he is not active duty, reserves or IRR thus it's not a military issue.

  • Michael

    folks have to also look at the full story, he "made a wrong turn" into Mexico with an arsenal and he acts like he'd never been there before when he had. Recently. Quit saying Obama should make a phone call because he's the leader of the free world. How would it look if the guy is running guns for somebody. The more facts come out of this case the more skeptical I become of this being an accidental turn.

  • alexis

    He is not a former service member. He is a reservist. And he fired his first attorney because he told him to lie n court.

  • navydude1986

    Ok, let me correct you…he is in fact IRR which if you don't know what that acronym stands for is INACTIVE ready reserves. Thus the military has no juridsiction to help him out. Thus rules out his OLD commander in chief Obama. He's a civilian, with prior military service, who made a wrong turn with loaded weapons in his car and entered mexico and got arrested. Case closed. Just like anyone in the California who would be riding along, got pulled over with a loaded gun in the back seat. Where would he go….hmmmm JAIL.

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