FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: August 20, 2014
CONTACT: Alex Avetoom, 714-676-8332, firstname.lastname@example.org
Asm. Melendez Introduces Resolution Calling for Release of Marine Sergeant Andrew Tahmooressi
SACRAMENTO – Assemblywoman Melissa Melendez, R-Lake Elsinore, introduced a legislative resolution calling on President Obama to act in accordance with United States Code and do everything in his power to help free Marine Sergeant Andrew Tahmooressi from prison.
“Sergeant Tahmooressi is suffering the consequences of a terrible misunderstanding in Mexico and it is our duty as both lawmakers and American citizens to ask our President to help free him as soon as possible,” said Melendez. “My resolution puts the California State Legislature on record in support of Sergeant Tahmooressi’s release and underscores to Mexican officials our deep concern over the handling of his case.”
While in San Diego receiving treatment for post-traumatic stress, Sergeant Tahmooressi made a wrong turn and ended up crossing the Mexican border on March 31. He informed Mexican border officials he did not want to enter their country and that he was carrying three legally registered firearms. Sergeant Tahmooressi placed a frantic 911 call to seek help, but it was too late. Mexican officials subsequently arrested Tahmooressi on weapons charges. He has since spent months in a Mexican prison where he has been held in brutal conditions.
Melendez spoke with Tahmooressi’s mother last week and offered to do all she could to help her son, a decorated war veteran who served multiple tours in Afghanistan.
Assembly Joint Resolution 54 continues Melendez’s commitment to help Sergeant Tahmooressi’s family win his freedom. Last month, Melendez sent a letter, signed by 20 legislators, to President Obama asking him to demand the Sergeant’s release.
“Sergeant Tahmooressi deserves an energetic response from his government.” said Melendez. “A few weeks ago, three Mexican police officers crossed the border into our country ‘inadvertently’ with substantially similar weapons and they were released within twenty-four hours.”
Coincidentally, Melendez’s resolution comes the same week Governor Jerry Brown is set to meet with Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto in Sacramento. The Governor’s office is yet to comment on whether the topic of Sergeant Tahmooressi will be discussed.
Assemblywoman Melissa Melendez represents the 67th Assembly District, which includes the communities of Lake Elsinore, Canyon Lake, Murrieta, Menifee, Wildomar and a portion of Hemet. It also includes the Riverside County unincorporated areas of Lake Mathews, Good Hope, Nuevo, and Winchester.