The owner of The Goat bar in Raleigh had her drug case dismissed in Honduras on Friday, ending a weeklong ordeal over what the family described as bogus charges.
Amanda LaRoque, 51, planned to stay with expatriates in a condominium Friday night until she could receive her passport from Honduran authorities and arrange a flight off the island of Roatan on Saturday.
“I can’t believe it’s finally over,” said her mother, Barbara Levy, in Cary. “I just talked to her. I think that tonight she’s going to be happy to take a bath and sleep in a bed with air-conditioning. She said, ‘I just want to be home.’ ”
LaRoque was detained on Roatan on Sunday 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, Brandon – had traveled to Honduras with a friend to look at real estate.
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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, LaRoque’s husband 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.
“Just waiting on paperwork now,” Brandon LaRoque wrote Friday afternoon.