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Former Marine freed from Mexico jail arrives home in Florida

Former Marine Andrew Tahmooressi is home in Florida after being freed from a Mexican jail.

A former Marine, newly freed after seven months in a Mexican jail on gun charges, arrived in his home state of Florida on Saturday to get treatment for post-traumatic stress disorder.

A Mexican court released Andrew Tahmooressi, 26, a veteran of the war in Afghanistan, on Friday on psychological grounds.

He was set free so he could seek treatment for the post-traumatic stress disorder he developed after his military service, the court said.

Tahmooressi was jailed in Mexico after arriving at the border from California with three guns in his pick-up truck. He was arrested on March 31 by Mexican customs agents at the San Ysidro border between San Diego and Tijuana and charged with weapons offenses.

Video shown on South Florida's Local 10 News on Saturday showed Tahmooressi stepping off a plane in the early morning darkness and being driven to the family's home in Weston, Florida.

He was accompanied by his mother Jill Tahmooressi and by Bill Richardson, former U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, who had worked toward his release.

"He's a good young man," Richardson said on CNN on Saturday. "You know, he's a war hero and we have to stand behind him."

Tahmooressi, who left the U.S. Marines in 2012, served two tours, Richardson said. "He's suffered enough," he said.

His case drew considerable attention, with U.S. lawmakers taking an unusual step of scheduling a congressional hearing during a legislative recess in the hope of pressuring Mexico and the Obama administration to intervene.

Supporters said the former Marine entered Mexico accidentally at a poorly marked border crossing after moving to San Diego to get treatment for his stress disorder.

Mexican authorities have said Tahmooressi did not cross the border by accident and did not declare his weapons.

The U.S. State Department issued a statement saying it was pleased about Tahmooressi's release and said it had been in constant communication with him and his family and facilitated visits by U.S. officials and his relatives.

Tahmooreesi can now receive the medical care he needs, said State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki.

"We are grateful for the excellent cooperation we received from Mexican authorities," she said.

Richardson, who has negotiated before on behalf of jailed Americans abroad, visited Tahmooressi at Mexico's El Hongo Federal Prison.

In winning Tahmooressi's release, Richardson said: "We used the correct mix of diplomacy, legal strategy and patience." 

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