Raleigh bar owner stuck in Honduras returned to Raleigh Wednesday night


HONDURAS (WNCN) — A Raleigh woman jailed in Honduras on drug trafficking charges in July and then released last week is scheduled to return to Raleigh Wednesday night.

Amanda LaRoque, who owns “The Goat” bar on Western Boulevard in Raleigh, had her passport returned to her by the Honduran district attorney’s office Wednesday morning. She immediately bought a plane ticket back to the U.S.

CBS North Carolina talked with her by phone in Honduras before she boarded the plane.

“I’ve got a big group of people here that have come to say goodbye to me, of local,s and so I’m saying goodbye to them and thanking them,” said LaRoque.

She said she is ready to go home.

“I am just so happy. It is beyond words,” said Amanda’s mother, Barbara Levy. “I just want to know they are on the plane and on the way home.”

She added, “It’s just a horror story. From the day I found out, that first Sunday, it was just unbelievable.”

LaRoque spent nearly a week in a Honduras jail with no air conditioning. Then, she spent nearly another week trying to get her passport back from the local district attorney.

LaRoque had been in Honduras to look at buying a retirement property. Honduran authorities charged Amanda LaRoque with drug trafficking on July 30 after airport police found a white powder in a “safe can” and believed that it was cocaine. She was jailed for several days on the charges.

Tests showed the substance wasn’t cocaine and a judge dropped the charges on Aug. 4.

LaRoque’s husband Brandon said the district attorney wanted to appeal that decision and the DA’s office had Amanda LaRoque’s passport, which the office said was due to an administrative error.

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CBS North Carolina was there when LaRoque called her mother and brother in Cary after the court hearing was done on Friday.

“I have slept in an 8 by 12 cell with no air conditioning for five days,” LaRoque told her mother. “I haven’t changed my clothes in five days. I haven’t showered in five days.

“I just want to go home,” LaRoque said.

Her family said she has no intention of returning to Honduras.

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