Six U.S. crew members of the Aqua Quest, a 65-foot ship out of Florida, have been sitting in a jungle jail in Honduras for almost a month now. The charge against them: bringing weapons into the violent Central American country illegally. But the case is questionable – especially since Aqua Quest International, the Tarpon Springs ocean exploration and recovery company that owns the vessel, was invited by Honduran officials to carry out development projects like river clearing.
"They came to help us," says Charles Stockhausen, the secretary to the mayor of the remote town of Ahuas. But a local prosecutor and judge, he adds, "have violated all their rights."
Reached by phone, the prosecutor in the case would not answer WLRN's questions. Honduras' justice system is widely criticized for corruption.