Home for the Holidays: Jon Hammar, Marine jailed in Mexico, to be released from prison today (Update – He may be delayed past Fri.)

US-Marine-Chained-to-Bed-in-Mexican-Jail-620x516

And according to reports, the gun charges are being dropped.

Fox News reports:

DEVELOPING: Jon Hammar, the U.S. Marine who has been in a Mexican prison since August on a dubious weapon charge is being released today, his father confirmed to FoxNews.com.

Jon Hammar Sr. said during a flight layover in Houston that he was on his way to get his son, after he and his wife Olivia received a call Thursday night from their attorney, Eddie Varon-Levy telling them their son was going to be released.

“I haven’t seen it in writing yet but Eddie has confirmed it with the court that Jon is being released today,” Hammar Sr. said. “The U.S. consulate said they would pick Jon up at the prison and accompany him to the border crossing.”

Jon’s father told reporters he’s  “excited and scared”, and won’t rest until his son is on the U.S. side of the border.

He said the two planned to bond on the the trip home to Palmetto Bay, Fla., which Hammar Sr. said would be made by car.

“Jon and I will drive back to Florida to give him some time alone, I don’t think he would do well on a flight back,” Hammar Sr. said.

Varon-Levy shared Hammar Sr.’s apprehension, saying his his optimism is tempered by security issues in Tamaulipas state which is controlled by Los Zetas Cartel. Hammar Jr.’s life was threatened while in prison resulting in a midnight extortion attempt from the prison.

“His security is at stake until he cross the border into the U.S.,” Varon-Levy said.

According to the NY Daily News, Mexican diplomats in the U.S. will not confirm Hammar’s impending release, today.

“At this time we will not be providing any comments confirming or denying this information,” saidLydia Antonio, a spokeswoman for the Embassy of Mexico.

Via Gateway Pundit, this morning on the radio, Bill O’Reilly excoriated the US media, calling them “lemmings” for not picking up on the Hammar story:
John Bolton went on Fox’s “On the Record” with Dana Perino filling in for Greta Van Susteren, last night to discuss the issue. He said that there was very little evidence that the State Dept. had given the case the attention it deserves.
UPDATE:
The NYTs reports that Hammar may be delayed past Friday because he’s determined to retrieve his confiscated Winnebago that he drove to Mexico. His mother, who along with his father flew to Brownsville, Texas -  across the border from Matamoros, said  that she expected her son home by Christmas.

She added that his arrival might be delayed past Friday because even after a horrendous four months, enduring death threats and ransom demands from members of Mexican drug cartels, her son was determined to get back the confiscated 1972 Winnebago that he drove to Mexico.

“It’s really important to him, and we feel like it’s going to bring him some closure,” she said.

Hopes Dashed For Marine’s Release From Mexican Jail Before Christmas (Video)

The Mexican Ambassador to the US dashed hopes for a pre-Christmas release of jailed Marine, Jon Hammar, today. Fox News reported that his two page letter  to Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-Fla.) left little hope of a diplomatic solution.

“As you know well, Mexico has had very stringent gun-control laws in place for many years, and have reinforced their application as a result of the flow of weapons illicitly purchased in the U.S. and then trafficked into Mexico and into the hands of transnational criminal organizations,” Sarukhan wrote.

Hammar has been stuck in a notorious, drug cartel-controlled prison just 15 miles south of the U.S. border since Aug. 13, after he crossed into Mexico and declared an antique shotgun to Mexican customs officials.

Sarukhan failed to mention that Tamaulipas, the state which the CEDES prison in Matamoros is located, is controlled by the Los Zetas Cartel, arguably the most vicious of the cartels.

Hammar’s father said the letter is fraught with statements at odds with what he knows and what his son has told him.

“There are huge inaccuracies about what is happening in their system,” Jon Hammar Sr., said.

Sarukhan said Hammar was arrested for possession of a weapon that, according to Mexican law, is restricted for the exclusive use of the Mexican Armed Forces.

But high-ranking Mexican military officials have told Hammar’s attorney, Eddie Varon-Levy, that the gun Hammar tried to declare shortly after crossing into Mexico on his way to Costa Rica is not the type of firearm the laws are meant to block. The gun Hammar claims he also declared to U.S. Customs and border protection is a .410 gauge antique Sears Roebuck shotgun.

But Mexico’s top diplomat to the U.S. said the letter of the law must be followed.

“Regardless of what he may have declared or stated to CBP agents and then to Mexican Customs authorities, the sole introduction or possession of this type of weapon (not withstanding its intended use or year of manufacture) in Mexican territory constitutes a federal crime in Mexico and is not subject to any prosecutorial discretion,” Sarukhan said.

Varon-Levy disagreed, saying no one can make the argument the antique, small-gauge shotgun is anything resembling a military weapon. He said the prosecutor and his team can’t even agree on specifics of the rifle.

Perhaps the biggest bone of contention Hammar’s family and legal team have with Sarukhan is the ambassador’s pledge that Hammar will be held “in conditions that ensure his well-being and his rights.” Already, Hammar, who suffers post-traumatic stress disorder from his service in Iraq and Afghanistan, has been denied an interpreter at court appearances, had his life threatened and has been chained to a steel bed.

Two days after his arrest, Hammar’s parents received a midnight extortion attempt by a male caller who said he “owned” the prison, giving credence to speculation that the criminal elements control CEDES prison.

Megyn Kelly interviewed  California Congressman Duncan Hunter  about Hammar’s case and the condescending and dismissive letter the ambassador wrote to Congresswoman  Ileana Ros Lehtinen:

If the Ambassador is peeved about all the guns flowing South from American gun stores, his beef is with Attorney General Eric Holder and Barack Obama for Fast and Furious – not some innocent Marine, traveling with an antique shotgun.

It’s interesting that the Obama administration wants to “respect’  Mexico’s sovereignty on this matter, since Obama administration officials allowed thousands of guns to flow across the border into the hands of vicious drug cartel murderers, without telling the Mexican government. You would think their respect for Mexico’s sovereignty was already kinda low.

Kelly went on to interview Richard Grenell, the former spokesman for four US Ambassadors to the UN, who argued the Obama administration should be doing more to fight for this Marine’s release.

The White House petition for the Obama administration to press for Hammar’s release has surpassed the 25,000 mark which (is supposed to ) guarantee that it will receive a response.

SEE ALSO:

The Shark Tank: Allen West Calls for Americans to Boycott Travel to Mexico

Previously:

US Marine Imprisoned in Mexico Needs Your Help (Video)

Obama State Dept to Parents of Marine Jailed in Mexico: “Sorry, We Can’t Do Anything to Help” (Video)

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