Facebook Deals with Imprisoned Vet's Plight

As soon as news that jailed U.S. Marine veteran Jon "Johnny" Hammar would be released from a Matamoros prison, the development generated numerous social media posts.

There were postings of congratulations to the 27-year-old veteran and others stating it was about time for his release.

Hammar, who is from the Miami area, had been incarcerated at the Matamoros jail since August on weapons charges.

Family members and an attorney say Hammar tried to declare an antique .410 gauge hunting shotgun with Mexican customs, and his family has said that U.S. Customs and Border Protection officials advised him he could do so.

"Awesome! He was unjustly charged and deserved his freedom. Should have been released sooner," wrote Amalia Alonzo on a Facebook posting.

"Justice was served both in Mexico and United States and this shows the bond these countries share this is why it's called America," Miguel Alejandro Flores said on Facebook.

Mexican officials had said the fact that Hammar declared the weapon to Mexican Customs doesn't preclude arrest and prosecution regardless if he declared or stated to CBP agents that he was in possession of the weapon.

On Facebook, Carlos Canul wrote, "The US military cautions against any travel by its members into Mexico, in the most stringent manner. Furthermore it requires an inordinate amount of paperwork few GIs are keen on supplying. Even weekend tourists are scrutinized unfairly by the authorities on both sides of the border. The moral is ... unless you have business there, or know what you're doing, avoid Mexico."

A Facebook page titled "Free Jon Hammar" was established where Facebook users had been encouraged to email the U.S. State Department and request it take action to get Hammar released. The page had 1,718 likes.

"Considering the arrest was trumped up to begin with and considering the USMC was threatening to protest the Matamoros border and considering OUR government turned their backs on one of its own soldiers ... I feel it was a humane thing to do. All I know is it IS the best decision Mexico has EVER made," Tonya S. Dwyer wrote on Facebook.

Raul Martinez wrote "Ignorance is not an excuse, there is huge signs w(ith) warnings."

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