Jon Hammar was released around December 21st, according to the Examiner:
Initially, it seemed as though Jon Hammar would have to remain in prison until a trial scheduled for Jan. 17. The Mexican Ambassador to the United States, Arturo Sarukhán, stated in a reply to Congresswoman Ros-Lehtinen’s formal request to release the Marine that his crime was to significant to warrant early release.
Ros-Lehtinen responded swiftly by sending a letter directly to Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto requesting his release on Dec. 17. Four days later, the Mexican government announced that Hammar would be released that evening after another trial cleared him of his crime.
Congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, Senator Bill Nelson, Senator Marco Rubio and Congressman Mike Thompson stated that the former Marine had “worked tirelessly and fearlessly in your efforts to bring Jonny home. We can never repay you.”
Members of Congress added, “To the Marines and soldiers who prayed for us and repeatedly offered to physically go and get him out at any cost, this country is what it is today because of your courage and commitment. And finally to the press, you have probably played the most vital role in his release. Thank you for pursuing truth at all costs.”
“A former US marine, jailed in Mexico after illegally crossing the border with an antique shotgun, has been released, a Florida congresswoman said in a statement.”
This photo came from the New York Daily News’s article, “Home for the holidays: Marine Jon Hammar released from prison in Mexico, and back on U.S. soil after illegal weapon charges are dropped.”
Read more at the New York Daily News.
The AFP wrote:
Jon Hammar, 27, a south Florida resident and a veteran of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, was arrested after entering Mexico on his way to Costa Rico for a surfing vacation. In Mexico, shotguns are reserved for military use.
Sixty-eight US lawmakers, including Representative Ileana Ros-Lehtinen from south Florida, wrote to Mexican authorities this week seeking information and calling for Hammar’s release.
Ros-Lehtinen said in a statement Friday that Hammar “has been released from Matamoros prison and is back safely in the United States.”
The New York Daily News added this description of the deplorable conditions in which Jon Hammar was held:
The chain of events at the border was almost “like a trap,” Hammar’s father, Jon Hammar Sr., told the News earlier this month.
Hammar, who spent four years in Afghanistan and Iraq and suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder, was jailed in CEDES, a well-known lockup for criminals linked to Mexico’s violent drug cartels. His life has allegedly been threatened and his family says they received late night extortion calls to their home in Florida seeking thousands of dollars to keep the young man safe.
For his own protection, prison officials, with the help of U.S. consular officials, moved Hammar out of the prison’s general population. For a time, he was handcuffed to a bed because there were no cells available, a source said. (New York Daily News)
It is appalling that his family received extortion calls at their Florida home. I trust that Mr. Hammar will soon enjoy a normal life. He has been through an ordeal.