Marine jailed in Mexico Antique shotgun

Discussion in 'Off Topic' started by explorerimports, Dec 12, 2012.

  1. explorerimports

    Active Member

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    Jon Hammar, a former U.S. Marine jailed in northern Mexico, is seen in an undated photograph provided by his family. Hammar was heading to Costa Rica on a surfing expedition when he was arrested for "possession of a deadly weapon" because of the length of the barrel of his shotgun, even though he registered the weapon with U.S. officials before entering Mexico.

    on Hammar, a former U.S. Marine jailed in northern Mexico, is seen in an undated photograph provided by his family. Hammar was heading to Costa Rica on a surfing expedition when he was arrested for "possession of a deadly weapon" because of the length of the barrel of his shotgun, even though he registered the weapon with U.S. officials before entering Mexico.

    An ex-Marine who survived dangerous patrols in Iraq and Afghanistan is now “chained to a bed” in a notorious Mexican prison after a road trip to Costa Rica went terribly wrong, his friends and family say.

    A chorus of supporters are calling on the Mexican government to release Jon Hammar, 27, who was jailed in August for carrying an antique shotgun that he believed could be legally registered in Mexico.

    Hammar, of Palmetto Bay, Fla., was headed to Costa Rica for a surfing trip to try and recover from post-traumatic stress after four years of combat in Iraq and Afghanistan.

    “The only time Hammar is not losing his mind is when he’s on the water,” fellow Marine veteran Ian McDonough, who was arrested with Hammar during the August incident but later released by Mexican authorities, told McClatchy newspapers.

    Hammar and McDonough had stocked up a used Winnebago with surfboards and camping supplies and had just crossed the border from Brownsville, Texas into Matamoros, Mexico, where they were detained.

    Hammar had registered the shotgun, a Sear & Roebuck model that once belonged to his great-grandfather, with U.S. Customs and Border Protection officials on the U.S. side of the border.

    After being told by U.S. agents the shotgun posed no problem and could be reigstered in Mexico, Hammar and McDonough crossed the border, tried to declare the weapon, and found themselves separated and behind bars.

    "The crux of it is the length of the barrel," his mother, Olivia Hammar, 46, told Reuters. "There's an old law on the books that says it can't be under 25 inches...It's a 2-foot barrel...It's strictly a technicality."

    “It’s a glorified BB gun,” she said.
    Jon Hammar, a former U.S. Marine, has been jailed for four months in a case one lawmaker called "outrageous."

    McDonough, who has Argentine residency in addition to his U.S. citizenship, was freed a few days after the Aug. 13 arrest and walked back to Brownsville.

    But the nightmare was just beginning for Hammar, who on Aug. 20 was charged with carrying a deadly weapon and placed in a prison known as CEDES in Matamoros, a notorious facility heavily populated, and run, by Mexico’s dangerous drug cartels.

    His parents have even received late night phone calls saying he would be killed if they failed to make thousands of dollars in payments into a Western Union account.

    “He was housed in a wing controlled by the drug cartel,” said Eddie Varon-Levy, a Mexican lawyer hired by the family. He told Reuters the charges in Mexico appear to be an effort to “make an example out of the gringo."

    The Embassy of Mexico in Washington D.C. did not immediately respond to a request from the Daily News about Hammar's case or why he wasn't turned back at the border.

    After receiving the death and extortion threats, Hammar’s family made frantic calls to U.S. diplomats who were able to get the former Marine temporarily placed in solitary confinement.

    n addition to fearing for his physical safety, friends and family are concerned that the extreme stress of the situation is taking its toll mentally.

    "He's getting more and more hopeless," said Olivia Hammar.

    Hammar, who spent four years in some of the most dangerous parts of Afghanistan and Iraq, had been honorably discharged and sought treatment for post-traumatic stress disorder. He had witnessed the death of a fellow Marine who was killed by a sniper's bullet in Falluja, Iraq, friends said.

    Describing Hammar as a gentle and dependable man, fellow Marines were shocked to hear of his latest plight.

    “It’s heartbreaking. This is a guy who I served with in numerous combat situations, and he was one of the best we had,” veteran Marine Sgt. James Garcia told McClatchy.

    With few answers and their son facing up to 12 years in prison on the gun charge, his family is now calling on U.S. lawmakers to intervene with the Mexican authorities on their son’s behalf.

    Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, R-Fla., the chairwoman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee and the Hammars’ local representative, called the case “outrageous.”

    “His family has described a very disturbing situation that includes their son being chained to a bed in a very small cell and receiving calls from fellow inmates threatening his life if they did not send them money,” Ros-Lehtinen said.

    “The family wants their son back home, and I will do my best to help them,” she said.

    There's also a "We the People" petition that has gained more than 8,000 signatures in just a few days.

    U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson, D-Fla. took to the Senate floor Tuesday to urge the Mexican government to release Hammar immediately.

    “The Mexican authorities, if it is against the law to take a gun in, even though he had already declared it at U.S. customs, the Mexican authorities could have … sent him back into the United States and told him, ‘Don’t bring your great-grandfather’s shotgun into Mexico,’” Nelson said.

    “They have put a United States Marine, who has honorably served his country, in a Mexican jail since last August. Now, enough is enough,” he said.

    Nightmare in Mexico: Friends, family call for the release of ex-Marine jailed in Mexico after trying to declare an antique shotgun - NY Daily News
  2. Benny503

    Grants Pass
    Well-Known Member

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    Dont go to Mexico or Canada... Dont go to any country that are not welcome Americans.
  3. Boomerang

    Portland area
    Active Member

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    This situation is sad, messed up, unfortunate, what have you, and I really feel for the guy. Regardless, he's an idiot for taking a firearm into Mexico. Mexico has some of the strictest gun laws in the world, and it's extremely difficult for their own citizens to (legally) own firearms.
    keystir, mjbskwim, Redcap and 3 others like this.
  4. Mohawk13

    Home on The Range
    Active Member

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    Maybe we need to send in the Marines for a Third time to rescue one of their own...and Maybe this time...WE KEEP THE FRIGGING PLACE!!!!
  5. ZA_Survivalist

    AK's all day. Bronze Supporter

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    bubbleguming Mexico.
    Bad luck for the guy. Should have kept his shotgun at home.. I bet they'd throw an American in prison for even waving hello. Our reps should really get on this one.
    orygun and (deleted member) like this.
  6. Toxic6

    Canyon County
    Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    Why does the US always send prisoners back to Mexico after committing crimes here, or allow the Mexican government to influence penalties such as the death penalty and get their citizens lesser charges here..........but turn the tables and we do nothing for our own citizens in their corrupt joke of a penal system. This kid will likely die in there and all our government will do is issue an apology to the Mexicans for it - maybe the US can threaten to start pulling funding from Mexico, or start killing their people rather then feeding and housing them torture free when they rob and kill our citizens or violate our gun and drug laws? I hope someone helps that guy, even if it was a poor choice to bring the shotgun he doesn't deserve to die or spend 15 years in hell.
  7. gallogiro

    Willamette Valley
    Active Member

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    Any update on this guy?
  8. HuckFin

    mt rainier
    Active Member

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    Last I heard,(A month or so ago) he was back home with his parents.
  9. Norm0931

    Hillsboro, OR
    Sgt. Sheep 2016 Volunteer

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    He got released near the end of Jan. Never got his shotgun back though.
  10. deen_ad

    Vancouver, WA
    Well-Known Member

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    Unless you're in a drug gang, then it's fine with the Mexican gov't.
  11. Burt Gummer

    Burt Gummer
    Completely Out of Ammo Bronze Supporter

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    That is just about everywhere on the Planet thanks to our marauding ways. Not every nation is completely controlled via their media propaganda like we are; they know at least some truth about the fake WOT.

    With the exception of who we are fighting and dying for of course. Our 51st, 'State", the "State of Israel." They would probably welcome visits from their stooges at any time.

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