Jon Hammar, the Marine veteran from South Florida detained for months in a Mexican border prison for bringing his great-grandfather’s shotgun into the country, is expected to be released Friday in what his mother calls a “Christmas miracle.’’
His mother, Olivia, said she and her husband were awoken with a 2:30 a.m. phone call from Hammar’s defense attorney sharing the good news. Hammar’s father, Jon, quickly found a flight to Texas.
“We made it from our house in Palmetto Bay to the airport in 11 minutes,” she told The Miami Herald. “This is our Christmas miracle.”
The elder Hammar will wait for his son, who has been held since August in a prison in Matamoros, Mexico, across the border in Brownsville, Texas. They will likely remain there for a few days, Olivia Hammar said, because her son is interested in getting back the 1972 Winnebago motor home — and some nine surfboards he was transporting — from Mexican authorities.
“It will be closure for him,” she said.
Hammar was arrested Aug. 13 when he and a fellow Marine veteran, who were headed to Costa Rica to surf, tried to cross into Mexico. Hammar had been told by U.S. authorities he could declare a six-decades-old .410 bore Sears & Roebuck shotgun at the border. The firearm is suitable for shooting rabbits and birds.
But Mexican authorities dismissed Hammar’s U.S. registration papers for the disassembled relic. Prosecutors charged him with a serious crime: possession of a weapon restricted for use to Mexico’s armed forces.