The father of a U.S. Marine jailed in Mexico after being caught with his grandfather's antique shotgun heard the fear in his son's voice and felt helpless.
The phone call came at midnight from Mexico's notorious CEDES prison, where Jon Hammar Jr. has been held since August. The caller demanded $1,800, then put Hammar on to drive the point home.
"They're serious, Dad," Jon Hammar Sr. heard his son say. "I'll pay you back; they are going to kill me."
Hammar, who faced down Iraqi insurgents in the final push on Fallujah in 2004, has been in dangerous situations before. But his treatment in the infamous prison, where Mexico's murderous Los Zetas and Gulf drug cartels hold sway, has his family fearing for the 27-year-old's life -- and begging the Obama administration for help. Hammar was arrested in the Mexican border city of Matamoros on Aug. 13, after declaring to a Mexican customs agent that he possessed an antique shotgun he was carrying through the country on his way to Costa Rica, where he and a pal planned to surf and forget the horrors of war that plagued Hammar long after his honorable discharge in 2007.
Even though a U.S. border agent in Brownsville, Texas, had assured Hammar the gun was legal as long as he declared it to Mexican authorities, he was nabbed just across the border, and charged with an aggravated felony punishable up to 15 years in prison. While in prison, Hammar has been repeatedly threatened and, according to reports, left chained for days to a steel bed. But it was the call, just two days after their son's arrest, that continues to haunt Hammar's parents. They believe their son's service to his country -- memorialized forever by a "USMC" tattoo on his arm, made him a target behind bars.
"The reason why he got processed so fast was because he has a USMC tattoo," Jon Hammar Sr., 48, told FoxNews.com. "You can't mistake who these guys are."
It was Hammar's mother, Olivia, who took the unnerving call at their Palmetto Bay, Fla., home. As her face turned ashen at the caller's demand, Jon Hammar Sr. grabbed the phone and heard a voice say, "This prison is our house!"
Read more via FOX News...