American citizen spends one year in a Mexican jail for taking the wrong exit (VIDEO)

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“I ended up going the wrong way, missed the exit, and I ended up going into TJ,” said 28-year-old Rodney Danzler, who’s now back in San Diego after being held in a foreign jail for more than a year on a gun charge.

During his fateful encounter with Mexican authorities, Danzler said he thought to himself, “This can’t be happening.” He said he was initially more worried about missing work than his family because he figured he would get out of Tijuana jail in two or three days tops.

That wasn’t the case.

The La Mesa native is a security guard. He was meeting a friend when he took the wrong exit into Mexico. He had his permit for his gun on him and the actual weapon locked in the trunk of his car as is required in California.

But in Mexico, as the signs clearly state, possession of a firearm or even ammunition is a federal offense. After being processed, he was thrown into jail without any explanation. He wasn’t able to contact his family, including his 6-year-old son, until about 3 months after his detainment.

Danzler told FOX 5 that he was in his cell 24 hours a day.

As his mother, Jackie Anderson, worked to try and get him released, she said the U.S. government offered no help.

With no progress, she eventually turned to the San Diego chapter of The Black Panther Movement, which she says helped negotiate with the Mexican government and the Tijuana police.

“We provide security as she went across the border throughout this year, advice and advocacy throughout the process,” said Yusef Miller, a social justice advocate for the Black Panther Movement.

He added, “We called together a Zoom meeting between the two consulates, went over and spoke with lawyers as interpreters, so we were on the ground every step of the way.”

They negotiated what can be described as probation – that’s all they will say about that — but Rodney is just happy to be getting back to his life.

“Overwhelmed but excited,” explained Rodney. “Happy to be back here with my family. Time to eat good.”

His mother teared up as she explained her reaction to seeing her son finally released. She said, “To see him actually come through the doors, I’ve been waiting and waiting! It was overwhelming! To see him — it was just good to see him! It’s been a minute.”

The family embraced as he returned to his home soil at last.

Source: FOX 5 San Diego

Baja California Post