Parents fight for release of son jailed in Mexico

December 11, 2012 - 4:33 PM

MIAMI (AP) — A South Florida Marine veteran's family says he is being held in a Mexican prison because he tried to enter the country with a shotgun that was about an inch too short.

The family of 27-year-old Jon Hammar said Tuesday he has been held in Matamoros since August on charges that he tried to enter the country with an illegal weapon.

Mexican law bans shotguns with barrels of less than 25 inches. The family and their lawyer say his shotgun has a barrel of 24 inches.

Hammar's family says he is being held in isolation after they received threats to his safety if they didn't pay protection money to a drug cartel.

Congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen of Miami says she has asked the State Department to work for his release.