The owner of Raleigh’s Goat Bar was headed home Wednesday after a 10-day ordeal in Honduras that saw her detained on false drug charges and denied her passport after a judge dismissed the case.
Amanda LaRoque, 51, told supporters on Facebook that she had regained her passport and obtained a ticket home and was checking in at a Honduras airport. “Fingers crossed and we’ll be home tonight!” she said.
LaRoque and her husband, Brandon, kept up a steady publicity stream by posting videos and updates from the police station in Honduras where they were held.
The Goat Bar drew further support with its #FreeMandy campaign at home.
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LaRoque was detained on Roatan on July 30 and jailed on suspicion of carrying cocaine, according to videos posted from the scene. LaRoque – who owns The Goat Bar on Western Boulevard with her husband – had traveled to Honduras with a friend to look at real estate.
She had several thousand dollars of cash stowed in a safe disguised as a can of Arizona iced tea, her mother said. When airport authorities searched it, they found a powder inside. Family members said a concrete-like substance on the inside of the can had flaked off, making the drug accusation bogus.
LaRoque’s husband soon flew to Honduras and was allowed to join her at a police station on the island. For a week, he posted updates that varied from them sleeping on a bare mattress without access to toilet paper to locals supplying them with food and toiletries. Temperatures in the station reached 95 degrees, he said, making sleep impossible.
From Honduras on Friday, Brandon LaRoque posted a picture of a drug test that reported “No Se Detecto,” or not detected, for cocaine and all other drugs.
Still, her husband said, the Honduran prosecutor called the guard who searched the bag as a witness. The prosecutor argued that the substance found might be for making drugs, he added.
But a judge dismissed the charges after the witness spoke.