SACRAMENTO (CBSLA.com) — The plight of an Afghanistan war veteran jailed south of the border may or may not come up Tuesday during a high-level meeting in Sacramento.
During a segment Tuesday on KNX 1070 NEWSRADIO, Governor Jerry Brown said he would not comment on whether he would confront Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto over the issue of a U.S. Marine being held in Mexico on gun charges.
Sgt. Andrew Tahmooressi was arrested in April after he crossed from California into Mexico and officials there said they found several weapons in his car. Tahmooressi claims he crossed the border by mistake and blamed a lack of signs at the San Ysidro crossing.
Several lawmakers from the Southland and across the U.S. have called for the release of Tahmooressi, who had just moved to San Diego from Florida and had all his belongings in his truck - including his pistol, shotgun and rifle - when he missed the last U.S. exit on April 1, forcing him to cross the border, The Associated Press reported.
But Brown told KNX 1070's Dick Helton he was unlikely to press Neito on the situation during today's meeting.
Gov. Brown: No Comment On Plight Of Marine Jailed In Mexico
"I don't know, I'm just getting information on that thing," said Brown. "There's lots of issues in both countries because of our people going there, their coming here, so I don't think that's something I'm going to comment on, at least on this radio show."
Tahmooressi's mother Jill has maintained close contact with her son, whom authorities have allowed to phone her every day from El Hongo prison outside Tecate, where he's being held in solitary confinement without bail, according to The Los Angeles Times.
Jill told KNX 1070 Brown sounded as though he were caught off-guard by the topic during Tuesday's interview.
"Maybe he doesn't know much about the plight of Andrew and how the border signage in San Ysidro - his town that he should also be responsible for - had such negligent signage," she said. "Perhaps he didn't know, but now he is aware, and let's see what he does."
Assemblyman Tim Donnelly (R-San Bernardino) declined the Governor's invitation last week to attend a luncheon honoring the president of Mexico, instead opting to help lead a rally outside Leland Stanford Mansion calling for Tahmooressi's release.
Donnelly has personally lobbied on behalf of Tahmooressi, including sending letters to President Obama to plead for assistance in negotiating his release and to the California Department of Transportation demanding to know what will be done to fix signage near the border.
According to Donnelly, Brown also shares the responsibility of ensuring he does his part to raise the issue.
"Our governor has an obligation as the highest elected official in this state to fight for [Tahmooressi's] release," he said.
Brown's meeting with Nieto comes less than a month after their meeting during California's Trade and Investment Mission to Mexico.
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