The co-owner of The Goat, a popular West Raleigh bar, has been jailed by authorities in Honduras after being mistakenly suspected of carrying drugs, family members said Monday.
Amanda LaRoque, 51, was detained on her return trip Sunday after airport officials discovered what they believed to be cocaine. Her mother in Cary, Barbara Levy, said her daughter kept her valuables in a safe shaped like a can of Arizona iced tea. A a concrete-like substance inside the can had flaked off into a powder, Levy said..
LaRoque’s husband, Brandon, flew to Honduras on Monday after posting a video on Facebook seeking help from everyone including the media and President Trump. She will reportedly be held 10 days until authorities in Honduras can perform tests on the seized substance.
“This is a horror story,” Levy said. “I don’t want her in a Honduran jail.”
LaRoque has no criminal record in North Carolina beyond minor traffic offenses.
Levy said her daughter and her husband had been looking for property to buy in Honduras and had taken several thousand dollars in cash. They were planning a similar trip to Nicaragua, she said, looking for a beach where they might open a new bar. LaRoque had traveled with a friend to Honduras, who reportedly took the pictures and video from what appear to be a cage. She had been working with a real estate agent, who has helped her to procure a lawyer in Honduras.
“I’ve been seen by a doctor, and the doctor says I need to go to the hospital and the district attorney is refusing to allow me go to the hospital,” LaRoque said in a video posted on The Goat’s Facebook page. “There’s nobody here that speaks English. Somebody really needs to help me.”
The Goat has operated on Western Boulevard for more than a decade.
Several reviewers of Arizona-can-shaped safes reported on Amazon.com that the cans contain a cement inside that is prone to mold.
A spokesman for U.S. Sen. Thom Tillis said the senator is making inquiries on LaRoque's behalf.