MIAMI (CBSMiami) – Twenty-seven-year-old former Marine Jon Hammar of Palmetto Bay will be released Friday from a Mexican prison, according to U.S. Representative Ileana Ros-Lehtinen.
Hammar was arrested over the summer in Mexico because he carried an antique shotgun over the border. He and his family and said it was an honest mistake.
“No American should be in a Mexican jail for five months without being able to have his case in front of a judge,” said Senator Bill Nelson (D-FL). Nelson made a direct appeal to the Mexican ambassador to the U.S. “We’re grateful; this is a good Christmas present.”
In a recent photo, Hammar was shown in prison chained to a bed causing concern amongst his family.
Hammar’s troubles began in August when he took off with a buddy to Costa Rica to surf and deal with post traumatic stress from the war.
The rifle, a family heirloom, was actually cleared by U.S. Customs.
“Customs weighed the gun, measured the gun, I think took pictures of the gun and gave him paperwork to fill out and then he took that paperwork across to the Mexican side, declared the gun and was immediately arrested,” said Olivia Hammar.
In a prior statement, a spokesman for the Mexican Embassy stressed that possession of any weapon restricted for the use of the army in Mexico is a federal crime and must automatically be prosecuted.
“All it is, is that the barrel of the rifle was this length or the other length. It was not like he was trying to start a militia,” said Ros-Lehtinen.