Bill Nelson wants ex-Marine released from Mexican jail

Jon Hammar being held in Mexican jail

WASHINGTON - U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson wants a 27-year-old former Marine released from a jail in Matamoros, Mexico.

On the Senate floor Tuesday, Nelson called on the Mexican government to send Jon Hammar "back to America and back to his family in Miami."

The ex-soldier decided to buy a recreational vehicle with another Marine and planned a road trip to Costa Rica. That plan came to a screeching halt at the border in Brownsville, where Hammar was stopped because he had his great grandfather's shotgun.

Even though he declared it, the ex-Marine was arrested and put in prison.

Mexican authorities are prosecuting Hammar for possession of a deadly weapon, a charge his lawyer says could result in a 12-year prison term if found guilty. According to the family, Hammar was told by U.S. Customs and Border Protection that he could bring the gun into Mexico if it was registered and a fee was paid.  

"Now, enough is enough," Nelson said.  " … I'm bringing this to the attention of the Senate so that we can further get through to the Mexican government."

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