6 American treasure hunters detained in austere Honduran prison released

Six American treasure hunters who were arrested and detained by Honduran authorities for nearly two months while on an expedition have been released.
By JC Finley Follow @JC_Finley Contact the Author   |   July 3, 2014 at 6:01 PM

TARPON SPRINGS, Fla., July 3 (UPI) -- Six Americans detained in an austere Honduran prison for nearly two months after authorities charged them with illegal weapons possession have now been freed.

The crew was released on June 26 after an appeal court voted 3-0 that no crimes had actually been committed.

The crew are members of an Aqua Quest International team that had traveled to Honduras to salvage goods from the bottom of the ocean. Both the ship's captain and Aqua Quest maintained that the weapons aboard their ship were for personal protection from pirates and were not for resale.

On May 5, their ship docked in Puerto Lempira, where police then boarded the ship, arrested the crew and confiscated the vessel.

The crew members were held for nearly two months in what was described as austere and unsafe prison conditions.

Aqua Quest International expressed gratitude to American officials for the involvement in freeing the crew, "in particular, Congressman Mike Fitzpatrick and his staff who latched onto this like a pit bull for Justice since day one." The company also thanked Sen. Marco Rubio, Rep. Gus Bilirakis and Vice President Joe Biden for their assistance.

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