Marine held in Mexican jail on trumped up charges?
Family fights for hero's release
- Duration 4:22
- Date Dec 12, 2012
Family fights for hero's release
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It's sixteen minutes after the top of the hour for four years Lance corporal John hammer fought in Iraq and Afghanistan probably serving his country.
But now he needs his country to help him.
The ex marine is currently locked up in a Mexican jail facing twelve years in prison for what his family calls trumped up charges for legal gun possession.
-- -- family has been pleading with US diplomats for help that they say so far nobody has intervened.
John's mom -- hammer joins us now live from Miami with her heartbreaking story.
Good morning team.
Thank you for having me so this has been going on since August 15.
Your son went to Mexico on some sort of a trip he took a gun that belonged to his great grandfather.
And he was -- -- pick it up from there.
Went to the US.
Custom side and and told them he wanted to take this rifle.
On this trip he was actually is sensationalist cursory kind of surfing -- -- just going through Mexico.
And the customs said you need to you know fill out this registration picked at paper and then declare it right as you cross the border which he did didn't and he was immediately -- and and has been in prison ever sense now what are the charges against him.
He is charged with possession of a weapon that is restricted for military use.
But you say that it's really not that kind of a weapon what kind of weapon isn't.
It's a 410 shotgun.
Basically for shooting small birds an -- actually.
The marina de Mexico which is the military arm of on the Mexican government.
Has sent a letter to the judge and the prosecutor stating that this -- is not on the restricted list but so far they have declined to accept that now he has been in prison in any.
In not good conditions he's he's changed to some sort of a bad.
Although you have had the opportunity to speak to him how frequently.
It's pretty random we never know how when we're gonna hear from him we have.
-- sort of gotten money to the guards to.
Allow him to use their cell -- periodically but they don't always honor that so.
I I did speak -- him on Friday but you know I can go.
Three to four weeks without hearing from you is it true that they asked for some sort of a ransom from -- It when he originally was in prison to this particular prison is controlled by the cartel.
So he was in the general population.
And within 24 hours we began.
Receiving extortion calls from other cartel members that were inmates in the prison.
I mean I I my heart goes out to you Bolivia because I can imagine -- apparent.
Not knowing the fate of your son and not knowing what to do you mean.
If you give the ransom money then you don't know if that's the right thing and and you didn't really want to go public until now because.
You'd maybe want to endanger his life.
Now you've decided to go public and and what sort of help have you received from either State Department or any kind of members of congress.
You know I haven't spoken with the State Department is certainly our our local lawmakers have.
Sent letters to the State Department to the Mexican ambassador in their reaching out on our behalf Ileana -- -- and senator bill -- Nelson and senator Marco Rubio -- office are sending out.
Letters and getting engaged in this at this point -- We really need to expedite this because we have gone public and now we need this to and fast.
And and you -- believe that maybe he's being treated this way.
Because he he was a former marine.
You know we -- we don't know necessarily.
-- mean -- me.
Conditions and Mexican prisons are never good but he he.
We think maybe he was targeted because he was in the military.
I'm so sorry for what you're going through Libya hammer we wish you all the best is now you're taking this.
Story public and we certainly hope that you can get somebody to pay attention and get your son home safe and sound thank you so much for this -- -- hammer thanks much for your time.