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Local diver being held in prison in Honduras

By Sherri Ellington Six Americans, including Kelly Garrett of Barnesville, are stuck in a prison in Honduras after being arrested May 5 on charges of attempting to smuggle weapons into the impoverished Central American country. Their ship was carrying registered firearms for protection. The U.S. Embassy has been on the case since May 19. Garrett’s brother Shaun is asking for prayers on his Facebook page after being alerted to a human rights website link featuring photos of his brother in jail via some friends in Florida. ’I’ve seen hog pens built better than that,’ said Shaun Garrett about the conditions in which his brother and the crew are being kept. He said Kelly is able to keep in contact with their mother. Honduras, which has been the recipient of several mission trips from Lamar countians trying to improve living and medical conditions, is known for international drug trafficking and gang violence. Illegal guns abound. ’The people from the ship are locked up in an open pen with a few little shacks and a campfire. There are a lot of mosquitoes,’ said his mother Mary Garrett. ‘It hurts my heart to know my son is in that place. It’s so strange.’ The six men ages 25 to 60 are Capt. Robert Mayne and his crew of the Florida-based ship Aqua Quest. They find and recover wreckage from under the sea. The team is composed of explorers and salvage experts. The ship was intercepted by the Honduran Navy in a lagoon near the rural eastern town of Puerto Lempira. Local police boarded the vessel and arrested the men, said Armida Lopez de Arguello, a Honduran attorney who has worked with the ship’s captain but is not representing the men. ’That sheriff is waiting for people to raise enough money to let them go,’ said Mary Garrett. ‘People all over the U.S. who are friends with the captain are trying to get the money to get them out so they can continue with their lives. ‘

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