Local News

Friday hearing to determine release of Raleigh woman from Honduras jail

Posted August 3
Updated August 4

— A hearing Friday will determine if a Raleigh woman will be released from a jail in Honduras.

Amanda LaRoque of Raleigh had been checking out houses Sunday in Roatan, on an island off the Honduran coast, and was heading back to the United States when she was arrested at the airport, said her husband, Brandon LaRoque.

She was carrying a "can safe," a fake Arizona Iced Tea can where tourists can hide money and jewelry while on the beach, and airport security asked to examine it. When they found the can was empty, they then cut into the lining.

LaRoque, who owns The Goat bar on Western Boulevard in Raleigh, has hired an attorney in Honduras.

"They took her in a back room. They cut it open, and apparently the lining has concrete in it so it helps weigh it so it feels like a full can of Arizona Iced Tea," Brandon LaRoque said in a video posted on Facebook while on his way to Honduras to help free his wife. "They think that concrete or whatever it is – sealant – is actually cocaine."

Co-owner Jeff Green is watching over The Goat bar in Raleigh and hoping she will be released tomorrow.

"Tomorrow is the big day," he said. "She is still being detained against her will for something she did not do, for something she is completely innocent of."

LaRoque claims there were never any drugs in the can. They say a white powder, found by authorities in Honduras was from the liner of a can safe.

"How anti-drug they are, it is crazy they are in the situation they are," Green said.

Officials in Honduras recently tested the can. An attorney for LaRoque witnessed the test. They are confident the results will clear her.

"The sooner the better. The sooner the better. So let's free Mandy. Let's bring her back. Let's get her home," Green said.

While friends are anxious for Friday's hearing, they are trying to stay positive and looking forward to holding a welcoming party

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