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Mother Of S. Florida Marine Jailed In Mexico Holds Protest

MIAMI (CBSMiami) – The mother of a South Florida marine jailed in Mexico after he accidentally crossed the border with several firearms protested his imprisonment and treatment Monday in Miami.

Jill Tahmooressi and several supporters staged a protest in front of the Mexican Consulate, at 1399 SW 1st Avenue, from noon to 1 p.m.

Marine reservist Andrew Tahmooressi, 25, from Weston faces three fire arm charges in Mexico.

Andrew's mother was able to get a meeting with the Consulate General of Mexico.

She explained to him why she was there said she wanted to make sure Mexico knew that they knew that her son was in jail.

Jill Tahmooressi said that Zabalgold her she should "be patient" but did explain that there would be due process for her son. He also told her, Tahmooressi said, that he was going to reach out to the foreign minister to make sure it was being expeditiously processed in the judicial courts in Tijuana.

Tahmooressi served two tours of duty in Afghanistan and now suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder, anxiety and depression. He moved to San Diego for treatment.

While driving to meet up with a friend on March 31st his nightmare began. He made a wrong turn and ended up crossing the border, with all his belongings, including legally purchased U.S. guns, in his pick up truck.

"I was going to call them after I drove off the exit, but I never got off the exit, I blew right past it," he told U-T San Diego in an interview from jail. "I wasn't paying attention, thinking I had way farther to go. I ended up in Mexico with no way to turn around."

Tahmooressi was arrested and taken to La Mesa prison in Tijuana, Mexico where he's being held without bail.

Rick Finale, who worked with his dad for over 25 years, joined the protest Monday.

"It's an injustice that happened for something very simple and stupid and he needs to be freed," said Finale, adding, "He fought for us and we should fight for him."

"He called me one night and he said in a panicked voice, he said, 'Mom I'm not going to make it through the night. There's hit men in here, they have told me they are going to kill me. They're going to rape and then torture and murder me and they're going to send me out in a body bag'," Jill Tahmooressi told CBS4 News.

Tahmooressi tried to escape by climbing over a gate and heading up onto a roof, and then onto another one. He gave up when a guard opened fire, but the incident earned him the nickname "Spider-Man."

He later grabbed a light bulb and stabbed himself in the neck. He was taken to the hospital and given stitches.

Tahmooressi said her son has been chained to his cot for the last month.

Officials told his mother he is supposed to be moved to a maximum security prison soon.

Jill Tahmooressi has started a petition drive to get the White House involved. Click here for more information on the petition.

If Tahmooressi is convicted, he faces six to 21 years in a Mexican prison, his lawyers said, adding that alternatively the case could be dropped if the Mexican attorney general's office in Mexico City requests dismissal.

(TM and © Copyright 2014 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2014 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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