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Local diver freed from Honduras prison

By Sherri Ellington After more than a month and a half in a dilapidated Honduras prison, Kelly Garrett is heading home. The Aqua Quest and its crew are due to be docking in Florida Monday, said his brother Shawn. ’All the charges were dropped, the guns were returned and so was the ship,’ said Shawn Garrett. ‘Supposedly everything is intact, such as the electronics.’ Everyone was using the same cell phone last Thursday to let their families know they had been freed so Garrett could not talk long, said his brother. He did not give word on his condition mainly due to time constraints. ’He’s supposed to come home,’ he said. The Aqua Quest crew were jailed on charges of gun smuggling, a charge carrying a 16 years sentence, although they had permits for the six guns aboard ship that the crew used for self-protection. They were in Honduras to salvage mahogany wood from a lagoon, with the proceeds to be split with locals. Instead, they found themselves in a prison in Puerto Lempira, Honduras after being arrested by local police officers. They were imprisoned May 5 and the exploration and salvage ship was seized by the Honduran government May 13. In addition to Garrett, ship owner Bob Maynes and his brother Michael Maynes, other crew members headed home are Nicholas Cook, Devon Butler and Steve Matanich. The area is in the rural eastern part of the central American country between Guatemala, El Salvador and Nicaragua. Honduras is known for international drug trafficking and gang violence. Problems of illegal guns abound.

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