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Marine veteran Jon Hammar leaves Louisiana hospital

  • The Miami Herald
  • Published Monday, Dec. 24, 2012, at 6:33 a.m.
  • Updated Friday, Jan. 25, 2013, at 12:25 p.m.

The Marine veteran from Palmetto Bay detained for months in a Mexican border prison for bringing his great-grandfather’s shotgun into the country was forced to take a detour on his way home.

Jon Hammar, 27, and his father were driving back to the Miami-area when Hammar had to be taken to an emergency room in Louisiana, his mother told Miami Herald news partner CBS4.

“He’s got some sort of a stomach bug and bad chest cold,” Jon’s mother, Olivia Hammar, told CBS4.

Late Sunday, WSVN7 reported that Hammar had been released from the Louisiana hospital.

It might be the same bug that Olivia Hammar said on Friday her son had gotten before he was released.

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 officials dismissed Hammar’s U.S. registration papers for the disassembled relic. Prosecutors charged him with possession of a weapon restricted for use to Mexico’s armed forces.

Hammar was sent to the Matamoros prison, where, at one point, inmates affiliated with local drug cartels called Hammar’s parents to try to extort money from them.

U.S. officials intervened, and Hammar was separated from the general inmate population. But he still spent much of his time chained to a bed.

He was released Friday.

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