Iraq vet jailed in Mexico on gun charge

Dec. 14, 2012 at 5:42 PM

MIAMI, Dec. 14 (UPI) -- The arrest of a U.S. military veteran, detained in Mexico for taking a 60-year-old shotgun into the country, has gotten the attention of a member of Congress.

Jon Hammar, 27, who served with the U.S. Marines in Iraq and Afghanistan and who returned to the United States with post-traumatic stress disorder and a hope to find peace surfing in Central America, has been in a Mexico prison for four months after crossing the U.S.-Mexico border with a .410-bore Sears and Roebuck shotgun, suitable for shooting birds, The Miami Herald reported Friday.

Mexican authorities dismissed his border registration paperwork and charged Hammar with possession of a weapon restricted by Mexico's armed forces, a crime that carries a sentence of up to 12 years after a conviction, his family said.

His parents, in Palmetto Bay, Fla., said they hired lawyers to resolve the matter, and two weeks ago asked U.S. Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, R-Fla., for help.

"We said, surely, she must be exaggerating," recalled Ros-Lehtinen, adding, "I'm optimistic that everything's going to work out. In these few days before Christmas, we're going to bring Jon Hammar home."

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