Reporting on the Mexican Cartel Drug War

U.S. Marine: Chained to bed in Mexican jail

Friday, December 7, 2012 |

Borderland Beat
Posted by  Athena Borderland Beat Forum.  


MEXICO CITY — As a U.S. Marine, Jon Hammar endured nightmarish tension patrolling the war-ravaged streets of Iraq’s Fallujah. When he came home, the brutality of war still pinging around his brain, mental peace proved elusive.  Surfing provided the only respite. 

“The only time Hammar is not losing his mind is when he’s on the water,” said a fellow Marine veteran, Ian McDonough. 

Hammar and McDonough devised a plan: They’d buy a used motor home, load on the surfboards and drive from the Miami area to Costa Rica to find “someplace to be left alone, someplace far off the grid,” McDonough said. 

They made it to only the Mexican border. Hammar is in a Matamoros prison, where he spends much of his time chained to a bed and facing death threats from gangsters. He’s off the grid, for sure, in walking distance of the U.S. border. But it’s more of a black hole than a place to heal a troubled soul. 

The reason might seem ludicrous. Hammar took a six-decade-old shotgun into Mexico. The .410 bore Sears & Roebuck shotgun once belonged to his great-grandfather. The firearm had been handed down through the generations, and it had become almost a part of Hammar, suitable for shooting birds and rabbits. 

But Mexican prosecutors who looked at the disassembled relic in the 1972 Winnebago motor home dismissed the U.S. registration papers Hammar had filled out. They charged him with a serious crime: possession of a weapon restricted for use to Mexico’s armed forces. 

Hammar isn’t the only American accused of questionable gun-related charges at Mexico’s border. Last April, a truck driver who was carrying ammunition through Texas got lost near the border, dipped into Mexico to make a U-turn and was forced to spend more than six months in jail. 

It’s been months since Hammar’s Aug. 13 arrest, and his former Marine comrades are livid and dumbfounded, impotent to help.
“It’s heartbreaking. This is a guy who I served with in numerous combat situations, and he was one of the best we had,” said veteran Marine Sgt. James Garcia. 

Hammar, 27, joined the Marines and deployed to Afghanistan and Iraq before receiving an honorable discharge in 2007, serving another four years in inactive reserve. In Fallujah, one of the most dangerous cities in Iraq, Hammar’s Marine battalion was hit hard, with 13 killed in action and more than 100 wounded, Garcia said. 

“There were days where it was like, dude, I may not make it out of here,” Garcia said. “If it wasn’t the IEDs, it was the car bombs or the suicide bombs.” 

In Afghanistan, the Marine unit provided security for President Hamid Karzai, protected election polls and disrupted insurgent cells around Kabul. 

Hammar did not have an easy re-entry to civilian life. After recurring bouts of depression, he voluntarily checked into The Pathway Home, a residential treatment center for veterans in California’s Napa Valley, in August 2011 for treatment of post-traumatic stress disorder. He graduated nine months later. 

“A big portion of his PTSD is survivor’s guilt. It’s a loss of innocence,” said Olivia Hammar, his mother, a Miami-Dade County magazine publisher. “You’re still trying to process all your friends who didn’t come home.” 

After leaving Pathway, Jon Hammar and Ian McDonough spent $1,400 on the used Winnebago, splashed out another $3,000 to outfit it and mapped a route to Costa Rica, hitting surf breaks in Cocoa Beach, Fla., and in Louisiana and Texas along the way to Mexico. Inside the rolling white beast were up to nine surfboards. 

“We begged him not to go, specifically because we were worried about his safety in Mexico, but they were fearless Marines and were undaunted,” Olivia Hammar said in an email. 

McDonough, a U.S. citizen who’s lived off and on for three years in Argentina, said he and his friend were wary of dangers as they approached the Los Indios border crossing, which links Brownsville, Texas, with Matamoros, Mexico. 

“We had enough gas in the vehicle that we were going to make it to southern Mexico before nightfall,” McDonough said. “We weren’t going to stop.” 

The issue of the shotgun came up near the border.

“I told him that we probably shouldn’t take the shotgun with us,” McDonough said. “And he said, ‘No, I’m going to get it cleared with customs at the gate.’ So I said, ‘That’s fine. As long as it’s legit.’ ” 

The Customs and Border Protection agent said it was all right to take the shotgun, McDonough said, adding that the agent told them: “ ‘All you have to do is register it.’ So they gave us a piece of paper and said, ‘This is your registration. You’ve got to pay this much.’ They gave us the piece of paper to give to the Mexican authorities.” 

As soon as the Winnebago lumbered over the bridge and they handed over the form to Mexican agents, trouble began. The two spent several days in custody, separated from each other. Mexican authorities eventually freed McDonough, perhaps because of his Argentine residency, and he walked back to Brownsville. 

On Aug. 18, Mexican prosecutors leveled serious charges against Hammar. Curiously, it wasn’t the type of shotgun that broke Mexican law. It was the length of the barrel, which the formal citation said was shorter than 25 inches, although a discrepancy has emerged over how the barrel was measured. 

“It’s a glorified BB gun,” Olivia Hammar said. 

Indeed, Mexico’s criminal groups routinely wield AK-47 and AR-15 assault rifles, high-powered .50-caliber sniper rifles, rocket-propelled grenades and other potent weaponry. If Hammar had any intention of causing mayhem, using his great-grandfather’s proud firearm would have been like Daniel Boone and his muzzle-loading Tick-Licker fighting a modern U.S. Marine. 

Back in April, the Dallas truck driver, Jabin Bogan, carrying 25,000 pounds of ammunition in his 18-wheeler, said he got lost in El Paso en route to a delivery in Phoenix. When he lurched to a stop at the Mexican border, asking to turn around, a Customs and Border Protection agent told him it was impossible. He was told to enter Mexico and make a U-turn. He had no passport and couldn’t speak Spanish. 

The ammunition was openly displayed on nine pallets in the truck, most of it of a caliber unsuitable for the AK-47 and AR-15 rifles favored by Mexico’s cartels. 

Mexican prosecutors charged him with crimes that could have brought more than 25 years in prison. 

“My son was not trying to deliver no drugs or no guns to nobody,” Bogan’s mother, Aletha Smith, told an ABC-TV affiliate in Texas. 

Through pressure from members of the U.S. Congress, Bogan was freed Nov. 23, and he returned to a tearful reunion in Dallas with his family. 

While his ordeal was difficult, Hammar’s has been worse. 

Once Hammar was sent to a state prison in Matamoros, mixed in with the general inmate population, late-night phone calls began to his parents in Palmetto Bay, Fla. 

“They said, ‘I have your son. We need money.’ I said, ‘I’m going to call the (U.S.) consulate.’ They said, ‘The consulate can’t help you.’ Then they put him on the phone. He said, ‘Mom, you need to pay them,’ ” Olivia Hammar recalled. 

Over subsequent calls, the extortionists offered a Western Union account number and demanded an initial payment of $1,800. 

Frantic, the Hammars contacted U.S. diplomats, who helped get their son out of a general cellblock into solitary confinement. They didn’t pay the extortion. Nor did they speak to the news media until now. 

“He was housed in a wing controlled by the drug cartel,” said Eddie Varon-Levy, a Mexican lawyer hired by the family. 

Varon-Levy said that Hammar, if convicted, could receive a sentence of anywhere from three to 12 years in a federal prison. 

Making matters worse is the nature of Hammar’s confinement, a matter that’s drawn the attention of Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, R-Fla., the chairwoman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee and the Hammars’ local representative. 

“His family has described a very disturbing situation that includes their son being chained to a bed in a very small cell and receiving calls from fellow inmates threatening his life if they did not send them money,” Ros-Lehtinen said. “The family also says that the jail where their son is being held is controlled by the dreaded and brutal Zetas drug cartel. The family wants their son back home, and I will do my best to help them." 

For all the toughness instilled by the Marine Corps, friends say Hammar is a gentle soul. 

“Hammar doesn’t take meds. Hammar doesn’t smoke, doesn’t drink. Hammar doesn’t do any of that. He surfs,” McDonough said. “If you meet Hammar, you have to like him. He’s always there for you. If you need something, he’ll literally give you everything.” 

So far, Hammar’s parents have gotten little help from U.S. diplomats. 

“They take a real hands-off approach. Unless your life is at threat, they aren’t going to do anything,” Olivia Hammar said. 

For Garcia and dozens of other Marines who’ve learned of Hammar’s plight, it’s hardly conceivable not to take action. 

“He doesn’t deserve this,” Garcia said. “We never leave a brother behind. We never leave a Marine behind. We have to do something.” 


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88 Borderland Beat Comments:

Anonymous said...

Hey Chivis what ever hapend to all those killing videos? are things calmer in mexico or are you haveing trouble obtaining them?

Anonymous said...

Well, you took the initiative to bring it over here Havana! I wouldn't go be seen in the Forum - no offense. I know you have friend there. Jaja! Friends there. This is a horrifying story- Something has to be done. Spread the word everybody!

Anonymous said...

Even my cat knows "you don't bring guns to Mexico", and you should too

Anonymous said...

How do you say unreasonable and inflexible? What is up with the US protecting their soldiers-especially those following the rules? Horrible story. I'm angry

Anonymous said...

He will get out. Somebody needs to come up with some money to pay a judge.

Anonymous said...

There are plenty of Mexicans in US jails for nothing more than being in the country without documents. How about you get them some justice first? He had a shot gun. Its a crime in mexico, so he is in jail. What so hard to understand?

Anonymous said...

You can only take weapons into Mexico if you are part of the cartel.

Anonymous said...

I think "Hammer" was a little immature in bringing even a fucken :Sling Shot" into Mexico in these violent times and if anybody should know better it's an ex-marine with combat duty under his belt.
Only a fool would insist on bringing ANY Firearms
south of the Border these days. I hope his Gramps
isn't rolling over in his grave thinking of his BiPolar Grandson locked up with a bunch of violent punks in good old Merry Matamoros.

Anonymous said...

Stupid choice, every time I have been to mexico I have seen the signs that warn against weapons or ammunition. If you play the odds and lose it was your gamble and you must accept the consequences.

Chivis said...

I am not getting why it was important to take if it was just a glorified bb gun?

secondly why did they ask US customs if they could take it into Mexico? Mexico should have been asked. US citizens get permits for guns all the time. and yes there are max length on shotguns.

something missing here. yes they could have met up with an asshole, but I don't know.

People contact Mexican customs with questions of taking things into their country, not US. you can get permits stamped just ask for aduana offices. call before.


as for the video question. There has been a marked decrease in videos why is anyones guess. I am not complaining

Anonymous said...

I bet those cops and solders and prosecutor were hive five-in each other like a bunch or moron like justice was done

Anonymous said...

If an Ex soldier was in the White House he would send a Green Beret extraction team or a CIA hit squad and we would've never heard of this BS tragedy!!! This is a country the US taxpayers help with BILLIONS of hard earned dollars supposedly so they can fight REAL criminals.
ElCoChiLoco2012

Anonymous said...

If he breaks out "somehow"...is he home free? Or will the u.s. send him back to face the charges?

Anonymous said...

i knew people who used to go hunting in Mexico. They used to take shotguns down there on the trips. It's been a lot of years since then, but Americans used to do this. So why is it a big deal now?

Also, why is this guy chained to a bed. That's B.S. Something doesn't make sense. He's screwed inside a Mex prison anyway, but why is he chained?

There's no way I would travel around Mexico without guns. It's insane to even argue that someone would do that. Gun laws in Mexico are completely screwed up ... and the locals don't follow them. So why should anyone else???

Anonymous said...

Is that type of violence starting to decrease in mx? The decapitations,video tape torture ,pozzole stew left on the highway? Hey chivis remember (hangy jaw) maybe the gruesome murders are getting a little played out in mx. They are not as shocking as they once were when the shit first hit the fan.

Anónimo said...

Hey Mexico: ¡HIPÓCRITAS!

Matamoros is sprawling with uneducated roach sicarios carrying assault weapons of all sorts and they arrest an American for carrying a relic post-WWII shotgun!

He should have consented with the Mexican Customs declaring what he had before crossing the border.

Senbd in the drones . . . please

Anonymous said...

He fucked up since the very minute he decided to drive thru mexico ....doesnt everybody know whats going over there?he is lucky he is alive....he deserves that for being so stupid

Anonymous said...

December 7, 2012 2:21 PM
"Matamoros is sprawling with uneducated roach sicarios carrying assault weapons"
"Hey Mr USA Gringo,pay up and you can go free"
Great stuff,convoys rollin round with dudes in with AKs ARs Desert Eagles strapped,firefights,kidnapping folks off the street in broad daylight,but hey there's a gringo with a shitty old shotgun in a beat up old Winnebago.Jail his ass now,git that money baby.Ye i know,what about me.Surfs up dude,Mexico here i don't come.
So nice to feel loved isn't it?

Anonymous said...

Don't we give these corrupt assholes billions in aid and military helicopters ,and cloths, that's right (cloths) when you donate used cloths it somehow makes it to the black market and gets sold by the ton to mx. So the u.s. has plenty of leverage to get this guy out diplomatically ...

Anonymous said...


So, what part of "ILLEGAL" don't you understand, guero?

How many times has the word "illegal" been overheard being spewed along the Borderlands by sanctimonious SOBs that can't quickly enough find a reason to justify their racial hatred?

...and whats different now? uhm....



Que se pudra.

Anonymous said...

First off I for one am glad there are no killing videos, could never bring myself to watch someone being sawed up. This young man should never have brought this gun working or not into Mexico. I don't think his character is in question. Any country that you visit always inform yourself to the laws. With customs saying it was ok, I still would have been hesitant to do so. I remember reading that certain Mideast countries will not allow you to take a prescribed pain med with you period. Some countries no alcohol, being gay can get you killed in some places such as Uganda. When I have visited Mexico I always try to do exactly what the law of this country requires, I think this particular case is a bit overblown but as Chivas states something is missing.

Anonymous said...

The guy caught wity a truck fullee wity Amo was sales first if he has anything ilegal he asid no. Once the truck was inspected ,He sai he was just país to drive the truck An that he had no Idea he was goinf intp mexico. ps the truck was fullee wity millionsbpf rounds. A truck Full, of Ammo and You sume how end up in Mexico without knowing ?
But Hey mexicans are the only bad Guys right. Do a Good research n the post Stories tryinf to justifcw any american encarceration in mexico.

Anonymous said...

I don't have much sympathy for him, yes, no one should be chained to a bed, but there are all kinds of warning signs saying guns and ammo are illegal in Mexico at the border crossings.

Everyone knows this.

Stupid gringos stay home.

Anonymous said...

Stupid asses. You go into Mexico with nothing and keep your mouth shut.

Anonymous said...

Good, he deserves to be punished for shooting unarmed defenseless little birds and rabbits.

Anonymous said...

The mentality that it can't happen to you is pushing it. I have gone up and down Baja for many years but have not felt safe enough to just get in the truck and camp out anymore. It can happen to you and you don't have to be doing anything out of the ordinary other than to be unlucky enough to cross paths with the wrong people. Common sense is what it really takes if you are traveling in a unstable area. Not being a marine or a self imposed tough guy will save you if someone really wants to harm you. With the cartels out of control, many street criminals have taken the stance of robbing, kidnapping, killing whoever in the name of a cartel they do not even belong to. They figure they can get away with whatever they do and they are right.

Anonymous said...

just like the plane crash story what the hell does this got to do with the drug war ?

Anonymous said...

It's Mexican laws now. This guy served his country in Iraq. But you can't pack heat into Mexico and expect not to get fucked with. Come on for real..Zetas will want to recruit him...

Anonymous said...

Chivis- this is rely not very fair at all. Chime in here and tell us is this retaliation for fast and furious? And the US is showing they don't give a flying fish?

Anonymous said...

Would you feel bad if the guy was Mexican? If he had some pot at the us border? Would you give a shit? I know I don't give a shit. He didn't respect the laws of the land what do you expect. I have been to prison in mexico if they got him chain to a bed he's probably an asshole. And if you don't like that shit you are probably an asshole too

Chivis said...

@4:49
Doubtful. They have always been very strict about foreigners brining in gun and can result in a PRISON SENTENCE OF THIRTY YEARS or more depending if there are additional charges.

The law was broken and it is a big one in the eyes of Mexico. thousands of Americans legally take guns into Mexico for hunting, BUT there is a restriction on caliber and size.

something is not right in this story, getting info on guns and Mexico is easy, I just googled "can Americans take guns to Mexico?"

and got all the info a person could desire including this:

FROM THE CONSULATE GENERAL OF THE UNITED STATES

Don’t bring firearms or ammunition across the border into Mexico.

Don’t carry a knife, even a small pocketknife, on your person in Mexico.

You may become one of dozens of U.S. Citizens who are arrested each month for unintentionally violating Mexico’s strict weapons laws.

If you are caught with firearms or ammunition in Mexico...

•You will go to jail and your vehicle will be seized;

•You will be separated from your family, friends, and your job, and likely suffer substantial financial hardship;

•You will pay court costs and other fees ranging into the tens of thousands of dollars defending yourself;

•You may get up to a 30-year sentence in a Mexican prison if found guilty.

If you carry a knife on your person in Mexico, even a pocketknife . . .

•You may be arrested and charged with possession of a deadly weapon;

•You may spend weeks in jail waiting for trial, and tens of thousands of dollars in attorney’s fees, court costs, and fines;

•If convicted, you may be sentenced to up to five years in a Mexican prison.

Claiming not to know about the law will not get you leniency from a police officer or the judicial system. Leave your firearms, ammunition, and knives at home. Don’t bring them into Mexico.

I think the agency controlling permits is semarnat and has offices in each mecian state.

Anonymous said...

im fukin piss,what does the u.s say about this. u got these fukin people here in the u.s backing up immigration laws and mexico bites us in the ass. mexico dont bite the hand that fed you. romney would of handled this.

Anonymous said...

Immature? Being unaware of Mexico's firearm laws makes you immature? It's a well known fact that most veterans are registered firearm owners and the American constitution actually allows you to carry one as long as it's unarmed. When Mexico hardly does anything to penalize their criminals and sicarios, than it is rediculous that they make a big deal about an American Marine harboring a firearm jn a motor home. This American may be suffering from post traumatic stress disorder but he has still been a more productive member of society than you have ever been. Go clean yourself up man. Hammar could do more with a slingshot than you could do with the resources you already have.

Chivis said...

I will add:
HE BROKE THE LAWS OF MEXICO

He could have found out procedure in 2 minutes

and 2 DOZEN AMERICANS ARE ARRESTED EACH MONTH, WHY IS FOCUS ON THIS GUY?

just saying

Anonymous said...

At some point ghe US will have to say come on bro, what the heck you thinking?

Anonymous said...

He was given paperwork to register it dumb fuck, read the article!

Anonymous said...

Good long read, but if anyone needed someone to give him a break- it would be him. It is hard to believe the need to be so rigid with a case like this.

Anonymous said...

dec 7 5:29

hey you are the dumb fuck it says US gave him "a paper" and said it was ok. that is bullshit. the paper is just acknowledging he has the gun the united states cannot approve something for another country, giving approval or creating laws and regulations for a foreign country. anymore than they can decide for us what is lawful. how stupid to think so. and I am not buying it either that a bp said that. the paper is simply a declaration of the weapon to the UNITED STATES, nothing to do with Mexico laws. he is an idiot. i also googled it and it is clear what will happen if even a bullet is attempted to be crossed.

Anonymous said...

this is a drug war story? How so? because Zetas are in the prison? a big stretch there

Anonymous said...

True, he broke the law in Mexico but he should have been deported. Is this the same Mexico that solves and prosecutes 2% of all homicides? The same Mexico wherein law enforcement is an entrepreneurial activity? Let's stop kidding ourselves here. The Mexican government has no respect for law, no respect for order. They respect only money and power. We should get that guy out of that den of savages!

jose rivera said...

There is no way to carry any weapon in mexico,he violates the law and there is nothing to do with this.. Only the legal way ..

Anonymous said...

Marine or no marine rules apply to everyone no weapons in Mexico suffer the consequences

Anonymous said...

Antes de entrar a tamaulipias primero pidan permiso. Si no salen mal heridos o talves no salgan vivoooos. ( accordian music in the backround)

Anonymous said...

I feel bad for him but he didn't check before he went. And yes, ppl go down there to hunt and never had a prob but its different times now. And I guess nobody read thw article all the way thru? It says there's a discrepancy abiut how the barrel was measured. I have to question why this soldier was traveling out of the country well before his 10 years was up. Usually soldiers have to stay in country for about 10 yrs before they are allowed to travel. What superior officer allowed him to do this in the first place? Maybe I'm a lil rusty on the facts? I feel bad he's been jailed and with his skill set he'd be a perfect sicario, and therefore more apt to be kidnapped but he should've put as much into researching other countrys laws as he did surf spots.

Anonymous said...

The punishment sure doesn't fit the crime. First of all, he was trying to take the gun into Mexico LEGALLY. It's not like he was trying to sneak it in under the radar.

Secondly, it's not like he was loaded down with AK 47's or grenades or something. No, this dude had an ancient shotgun "suitable for shooting birds and rabbits". So basically, it was only a little more powerful than a bb gun.

Added to that, he wasn't prosecuted for the TYPE of shotgun it was, but for the LENGTH OF THE BARREL. So now he is being prosecuted for, and has spent months in jail chained to a bed on a TECHNICALITY in the law that probably wasn't even mentioned in the original paperwork! And THAT, people, is FUCKING REDICULOUS.

Still, I do see the other side of the coin. He was a complete idiot for trusting ANYTHING ANYONE on the American side of the border told him about the way he and his antique firearm would be received once he crossed the border. He should have made damn sure he wasn't going to be breaking the law before trying to take that gun into Mexico.

And if you ask me, he and his companion were stupid to even CONTEMPLATE traveling by motorhome through Mexico. Had they passed through customs and gone on their way, he and his friend could very well have ended up dead by crossing paths with the wrong people at the wrong time.

Ex-marines or not, they wouldn't have been immune to becoming victims of the rampant crime that has taken over Mexico. The cartels are trained military too, and when they ambush your ass, and you're suddenly surrounded by dudes with Ak 47's, you're fucked. By then, you'd be WISHING for a prison cell instead of that shallow grave they just dug for your body.


Anonymous said...

If he has PTSD why the fuck carry a weapon? We all know what can happen.

CarreteraDurangoMazatlan said...

How sad. An American didnt follow the laws of soverern country and he is paying the consequences. I have pink misted over 20 afghanees and I know not to bring a gun into Mexico

Anonymous said...

What if this is just a cover up to get a closer look of how corrupt and bad things are if he was extorted why would his family not pay for his well being and the family just called somebody and they moved him. A marine would take that punishment he may be under. Hey it could happen....???? Es todo Gracias señores y señoras.

Anonymous said...

.

ja ja ja, Chivis, WHERE DO YOU GET THE ENERGY?!!! My God, you are DYNAMITE with more energy & staying power than Ever-Ready-BATTERIES !!!


luv your work and spirit,

T.C.

Anonymous said...

Damn mexico aint no joke as a Mexican american its been bout 20 years since ive been there ive had family pass away and not have been able to go and at this rate I wnt risk going there for people to acknowledge im from the us and risk being held for ransom I hope the us helps this guy get out I mean he served his country and this is how the us pays him I understand he messed up but he figured that by going thru customs hell be ok I wonder if it tough for him , we as Mexican americans in his shoes would have it harder by both the Mexican gov. And the us gov.mexico would not care about you being a us citizen and the us gov. Would drag their feet on you being a us citizen but mexican national in helping in this same situation I believe especially now during a presidential transition that has to hurt .ill just stay here in good ole usa ya theres violence here everywhere but as long as you know your surroundings and streets you go to mexico up the hills or mountains you wont know where your at. I hope this guy gets home to his family us citizen or Mexican to do 30 years damn that's the remaider of your whole life nobody deserves this treatment now who knows now what new rules will be put in place now that nietos president and may god bless everyone in mexico or us peace.

Anonymous said...

Haha! This must be BY FAR the STUPIDEST comment EVER on BB!!! Estas mas pendejo que el Chavo! Idiota!!!

Anonymous said...

Damn! I could have been SERIOUSLY FUCKED 3 years ago when I flew from Los Anegeles to Guadalajara Mexico. When the security in LA x-rayed my carry on back pack they looked at me all weird as if I was a terrorist. They took me into a small room and 10 minutes later police came in and said to me: "hey, are you carrying any weapons? We're only asking once." I said "no, ofcourse not.". Then they said "we found this knife in your back pack". I'm like "oh fuck, that's my hiking back pack. Its one of my 10 essentials." I was questioned like crazy, they checked my record and I finally convinced them about me being a hiker. Man did I get lucky after reading this!!!! Imagine they find the knife at the mexican airport???? FUUUUCCKKKK!!!! The crazy thing is it could have bypassed the security in LA. About a year ago my friend from sacramento flew to LA for us to go on a trip in the desert and she also forgot to put away her knife but they did not find it. On her way back to Sac she insisted to take it again, I told her not to risk it and the dumb ass go caught. She should have listened to me, I would have shipped it to her. Anyways, yeah I'm fuken lucky. 5 yrs ago I worked for a company in mexico and stupid ass security in mexico would always give me shit for having a lap top and not having a work permit. Stupid fucks! I love mexico but the one fuken thing I hate is when I fly in and want to take a cab they want to fuck me by short changing me all the fuken time, every single fuken time. I'm a fuken mexican and I'm sometimes fuken embarrassed cus half of the people in mexico are out to fuck you!!! 2 yrs ago my lame ass got drunk in puerto vallarta and I needed to take a piss n there was nowhere to go and a fuken young cop caught me! He wanted some money and I only had about 1000 pesos and he wanted more. I told him I could go to the atm and get some and last min he let me go. Oh, also because my bday was the following day. He was alone and I was seriously thinking about laying him out. I'm 6'3 and trained in martial arts for 16 yrs in hapkido so I would had knocked his ass out. Even though I'm a big motherfucker and can fuck up almost anyone I want (have even trained w chuck lidell and tito ortiz in Newport) I'm fuken scared to go to a mex prison! Fuecked that! That's y I don't fuck around in mexico anymore and if you do then ur playin russian rulet!

Anonymous said...

Im a 27 year old white American who lives in mexico 10 months a year. i come home every nov and dec then drive back through tj and spend a few weeks in southern baja then cross the sea of cortez from la paz on the ferry and spend the rest of the year in guerrero and michocan. anyways before you enter mexico there are giant signs that say GUNS ARE ILLEGAL IN MEXICO lol they are hard to miss. this guys situtation is shitty but the laws are the laws obey them or suffer the consequences. just because he served in the marines doesnt mean he can go anywhere ignoring the laws. Im also a USMC Iraq and Afghanistan vet and i was "outside the wire" many times. Im also a surfer and i went to mexico 3 years ago for the same reason this guy was going. i feel sorry for him and i know from experience what mexican jail is like for a white guy. it sucks big time. Semper Fi

Anonymous said...

don't be a fool , you should know better , don't croos whit fire arms into mexico or US simple as that, i dont care if he was a marine or a good person laws are laws , it's not about who it's it

Anonymous said...

Mexico has laws they need to be respected thier are no human rights here rember when you cross the border our police and legal system are corrupt look at the facts it culd all be avoided bye NOT CARRYING A FIREARM AND NOT COMING HERE

Anonymous said...

Crooked ass judges n prosecutors. The only thing that makes me happy is knowing they will get sliced up nice by one of their own people. :D
FAH-Q

Anonymous said...

Who gives a rat ass???? He broke the law now man up.Do the crime you do the time.Who cares its a marine.LMFAO!!!!! Looks like the U.S. Wiped their ass with you and no longer need you so don't expect help.Be a man!!!!

Anonymous said...

I know guys who go fishing down there and take a flare gun and some shotgun shells. The Mexican authorities are too stupid to put 2 and 2 together...

Havana Pura said...

Nope, I didn't post this as a drug story, @6:06 pm. And you're right, it isn't a drug war related story. I posted it as a story about gun laws in Mexico regarding foreigners in Mexico. I wanted to show if you don't follow the gun laws in Mexico, you will pay the price no matter where you come from or how many selfless deeds you might have done for your country. Even with deep pockets, you will be seriously inconvenienced for who knows how long. So, it pays to know this law and follow it. Many people are not aware of just how serious Mexico is about foreigners and weapons. DEAD SERIOUS.

Anonymous said...

Being arrested is tough. Try being kidnapped at a house party along with 11 other people. tortured beaten and traumatized, and the women forced to dance then evenually raped. And towrds the end the bad guys turn you into police. Then they trump up drug charges. even towards the end the Ministerio publico is threatening with adding more trumped up charges if we dont come up with 35,000. Years later "ministeriales" come looking for you on even more trumped up carges because it's christmas time and they're money hungry. that's the law for an american citizen in Mexico. In that ocation, a guy had been beaten severeley and the handcuffs where cutting into his wrists.he asked an officer if he could please loosen them up. I can still remember the officer with his looks equivalent to a mexican Forest Gump. Quickly getting to loosening the cuffs. then he looks at us and says "We where held in that house too." I finall, felt safe. I learned the way things worked that night, helpless is an understatement. preparing your self to be beheaded is someting horrible. I cant Imagine what it's like to live it daily in prision. As an american citizen all they see is a potential for dollars from family who dosn't want to see you hurt. I know he is a marine and those guys are tough as they come. If I survived it, and eventually overcame the shock. I know he will also overcome. I sometimes wish I could capture the horrors that take place here. I hope americans value their freedom of speech enough to use it. In México we the right. just not the freedom.

Anonymous said...

It was disassembled and he was sneaking it in you dumbfuck

Anonymous said...

I think most of this story is bull not that im saying it's not true but how you make this soldier seem like he was a victim in the middle east ??? that dude was trained to kill ! he got what he deserved EVERYBODY knows you don't cross guns internationally there are NO PERMITS TO CROSS WEAPONS TO MEXICO i don't know what the fuck he was thinking and what most of you are thinking for defending this guy saying "oh gun laws are b.s. in Mex", even if the situation was calm in Mexico you still can't do it what makes you think you can now? and FUCKYOU for putting shit like the shotgun is perfect for shooting birds like he was gonna go on a vacation and hunt with his 410 shotgun hahahaha : PLAIN AND SIMPLE he tried to cross a weapon and he got caught so there he got what he and everybody else deserves for that crime, maybe he joined a cartel and he was sneaking a gun over to sell or maybe he was probably gonna participate in a terroristic act like the U.S. Military is accustomed to all around the world!

Anonymous said...

That Marines first mistake was to enter Mexico at all. So Mexican military issues .410 shotguns? that is a prohibited caliber? lol. The Marine just needed to bribe the border guards and everything would have been cool.

Anonymous said...

Why wasn't my previous post entered? How there's impunity for almost every criminal act that's been committed in Mexico for years now, but this is where Mexico has a zero tolerance policy?

Anonymous said...

Although Mexican law allows the owning and transport of airguns (Adult airguns; not the "Red Ryder" type), it was difficult to deal with the ignorance and knee-jerk reactions of the "aduanas" personnel when I wanted to take my scoped Beeman to our ranch in Matamoros. Even when you have the documents and training materials to show them (at the border crossing) what THEIR laws are (http://www.aduanas.gob.mx/aduana_mexico/2011/descarga/ImportacionArmas.pdf), they look at you with suspicion and want to treat you as a criminal FIRST, then ask questions.

Given the shit going on in Matz, I finally decided against it and only take my adult slingshot. ...maybe I even have a better time; without fear of an overzealous dumbass shooting my ass (since SEDENA and SEMAR patrol rural areas around my ranch, ALOT!) Those fuckers will shoot and disappear your ass to cover-up their rookie "mistakes."

DON'T RISK IT...



BTW...

IMO firearms are NEVER, EVER, a small matter! A .410 gauge shotgun is definitely not a glorified BB gun (as someone seems to have called it). Check this out to get an idea of what a .410 ammo looks like in some of its various configurations: http://www.americanrifleman.org/GalleryItem.aspx?cid=22&gid=127&id=1100

...now that'll definitively do more than just shoot Ralphie's eye out...


Ah Erre

Anonymous said...

I hope he gets out without any more problem. It will not be easy though.

That said, I would not even consider bring in weapons or ammunition to Mexico. I stay here off and on for relaxation both before and after my time in Iraq, and I hope that any soldier or contractor who returns does not preclude a visit here just because of their gun laws. Compared to Iraq, this place is heaven. But as others have mentioned, you must expect consequences if you violate the gun laws here.

Personally I wish the Mexicans would amend their constitution to allow the people to arm themselves (only after they learned how to use a firearm), so that the cartel scum would not think to enter a small town and terrorize the residents.

But this is not the case, and so, like everywhere else in the world, you take your chances wherever you go.

I am upset that the Mexican politicians would allow this fellow to be mistreated in his cell; they can and should do something about that. If do not, I think it is appropriate that the State Department and DoD make a very public joint statement to embarrass these idiot jailers and force his release.

Anonymous said...

@11:55 didn't post my comment either, and @1:06 hate America much???

Anonymous said...

Lol, too funny! Mexico's laws need to be respected by everyone except Mexicans! Mexico is a joke, everyone knows it!

Anonymous said...

Marine or not...this guy is an idiot to put himself in this position. Take responsibility for your actions. Knowing full well that Mexico is fucked up country, why would you give them a reason to mess with you. The only way out now amigo is to put up the bribe money. Why don't your marine buddies set up a website and get donations to bribe this half wit out of jail

Anonymous said...

This is bullshit. This is a real man, a marine who fought for our countries freedom. As a mexican american it makes me sick to see other mexicans posting on here saying this is what he gets, he deserves it, etc. You lil sissies deserve to be in his fuckin place for having no balls at all. Screw Iran, Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, wtf ever. Mexico is where the us miitary need to be. Wipe out these maggot cartels, the pathetic government and military that are on payroll of the cartels. Put it back into the hands of the real mexican people. The ones who still have balls and heart. The rest of the scum, like the ones that post bs here about this Marine. Who was willing to die for us. As the son of a VietNam vet i have seen what ptsd does to a person. Goddamnit this pisses me the fuck off...

Anonymous said...

It so damn hypocritical for the mex gov. To say no guns allowed fair enough but to have thousands of guns flowing in their land publicly by cartel scum and what do they do to them not a damn thing but yet they enforce that law against one individual who thought that he was getting permission by a customs agent and was totally mis informed. Theres a major problem there against innocent civilians its the law against cartel scum its accepted .

Anonymous said...

He should have had it assembled loaded and pointed at those crooked cops. Y dont his boys just break him the fuck out of there and drop a few zetas while they are at it.

Anonymous said...

All around this story is screwed up, the US Diplomats should've had him released instead of sent to a solitary confinement cell. When you have two dirty governments things like this happen. Welcome to the life of a minority in America lol. Americans complain about the Government sending aid to Mexico, they're just sending their half of the drug money from drugs seized at the US Mexico border lol. Think about it, then you'll see why and how things like this happens.

Anonymous said...

Things are fucked up in Mexico. Why don't people realize that. Mexicans get killed visiting relatives in Mexico. Mexicans get car jacked visiting Mexico. Mexicans have to pay to get out of jail if arrested in Mexico. Mexicans are trying to get out of Mexico because of the violence and insecurity. I have family in the military and have uncles that were in vietnam. All of Mexican decent, and none will set foot in Mexico because of fucked up stories like this. I hope this soldier makes it back safe. Mexico is no joke no matter who you are. His family should pay for his release and move on.

Anonymous said...

Whether he broke the law or not he should just be deported back to the US i know US law enforcement and they bust 1,000s of mexicans or udocumented aliens trying to smuggle narcotics or other undocumented aliens into the US and 99% of the time we just send them back to Mexico. It is illegal to bring firearms but i think Mexico has more to worry about than a surfer with a World War 2 pee shooter. The weapon should have been taken and send him on his way back. But it wasnt cuz he was a "gringo" and they knew they could get money out of him no different from how mexicans extort themselves they just know "gringos" are worth more. The US wouldnt have enough jail space to even attempt to house how many undocumented aliens we arrest. Give it up its pathetic....

Anonymous said...

He should be a cartel member, he has the training and gun experience

Anonymous said...

plenty of surf in the US and we have the 2nd amendment.
don't feel sorry for this guy not one bit.
huge signs on the border "NO GUNS NO AMMO"
no excuses for this guy just do your time and lesson learned.

Anonymous said...

What did he think was going to happen?....I too fought fallujah, but this did not affect my critical thinking skills. This guy is what we call in the corps a "bravo "

Anonymous said...

suck it up like a marine

Anonymous said...

I agree with the top post, do something we've got top government officials involved with Fast and Furious, who aren't even getting their hands slapped (Holder) and then you have something like this....and I bet Holder is setting on his guilty hands and isn't man enough to help..

Anna Irlanda said...

yes, all of us gringos should stay out of Mexico and yes it is stupid especially to carry ammo over there. Americans should totally be banned from going to Mexico. They have no law and order. they put the wrong ones in jail and those druggies and lords get away with it because the police are afraid of them and maybe even work with them. So, Americans, be proud you live here in the United States, you don't need to put your life in danger by going over there. God bless the marine and all those innocent people we don't hear about. God bless Mexico's new government as well may they be strong enough to rid of the corruption in their country.

Anonymous said...

I used to hunt quail and yes we road around with shotguns, that was before they started to kill each other over drugs.

Anonymous said...

God's Speed to this Marine!

Anonymous said...


For sure I hope AMERICAN'S Stay AWAY from our FORMER Friend?? Have been to that PATHETIC country.. WILL NEVER GO AGAIN. Hope other
Americans' feel the same. T. Knox

Anonymous said...

I would not think zetas want to kill him they rather get him for he could fight for them

Anonymous said...

Its funny how US politicians let these illegals flock in but they cant get a fellow marine jailed for BS out of Mexico. These politicians are so full of crap. Everything for themselves and so many behind closed policies like their making a difference for anyone really. Just Corporate asses.

Anonymous said...

Can You hear the Crying of Millions of Mexican Mothers. They are Crying because their sons are Mistreated and Discriminated in The USA. Others are Crying beacuse their sons were killed with weapons from USA. So stop crying like little girls because a narco was trafficking weapons into mexico.

Anonymous said...

I think he got in trouble because he bragged he was a marine and had an attitude problem,even here he could have gotten into trouble with the law if you have a bad atitude, may be he was thinking that the marines would rescue him, not very smart guy.

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