NC woman jailed in Honduras after ‘misunderstanding’ involving can safe

RALEIGH, N.C. – A Raleigh business owner says he is fighting to free his wife from a Central American jail.

That man, Brandon LaRoque, is the owner of “The Goat,” a bar on Western Boulevard, and his efforts in this situation are getting a lot of attention on social media.

Brandon LaRoque is now on the way to Honduras after a video was shared of his wife, Amanda, addressing her arrest on cocaine charges.

“They are now containing me and charging me with possessing and trafficking cocaine,” she said in the video.

Brandon LaRoque said his wife was in Honduras looking to buy property.

CBS North Carolina reached him by Facetime at a Houston airport on his way to Honduras.

“If she was in the US being arrested, I would be flipping out, much less in a foreign country, especially being an innocent person,” he said.

LaRoque said his wife took what’s called a “can safe,” a hollowed-out iced tea can. Amanda LaRoque said she bought the special safe online to hide her cash in Honduras.

Brandon LaRoque said the “can safe” contains concrete so it has some weight, making it feel like a real can of tea.

In her video, Amanda LaRoque said when authorities at the airport inspected it, they cut it open and mistook concrete inside for cocaine.

She explains in the video why authorities arrested her.

“They’re saying that the concrete in the can is cocaine and they are now containing me and are charging me with possessing and trafficking cocaine without the ability to check the canister,” Amanda LaRoque said in the video.

Brandon LaRoque says his wife is innocent.

“If I could switch places, I would,” said Brandon LaRoque. “And if it’s about money, I’ll give them money. I don’t care. I’m not worried about that.”

CBS North Carolina contacted the U.S. Embassy in Honduras who could not comment on the case, but a U.S. State Department spokesperson said they are aware of reports of a U.S. citizen detained in Honduras.

CBS North Carolina also reached out to the real estate agency in Roatan, Honduras who her husband says was working with her.

A woman there told CBS North Carolina there was an agent working with Amanda LaRoque and something happened that she needed to go to the jail.

In Raleigh, The Goat shares a building with Pam’s Farmhouse, a restaurant.

There, people are talking about this situation and how upset they are.

“This is just really shocking this whole thing that has happened to her,” said Beth Halcomb, an employee at Pam’s Farmhouse.

Brandon LaRoque said he has been in touch with the US Embassy in Honduras. He said he’s been told it could be 10 days before Honduran officials get results when they test the substance found at the airport.

There is a U.S. State Department travel advisory for certain parts of Honduras.