Jason Puracal and his supporters are hoping for someone, anyone, to take an interest in his plight. Locked in a Nicaraguan jail cell on charges of money laundering and drug trafficking--charges he strongly denies--the 34-year-old Tacoma-raised man and his friends and family have tried and failed to get the U.S. State Department interested in his case.
But now Puracal can at least add the voices of a former FBI agent and a current U.S. Congressman to the growing list of supporters calling "bullshit" on the charges against him.Speaking to KOMO News and previously Enhanced Online News, retired FBI Agent Steve Moore says he began viewing Puracal's file more than a month ago, and has concluded that the charges are "not based on any credible evidence."
According to a website set up since his arrest, Puracal is a UW graduate and a former Peace Corps volunteer who stayed in Nicaragua after serving his stint there and went on to become a real-estate agent and a father.
The site claims that Puracal has been severely mistreated in jail including being starved, beaten, and injected with drugs against his will.
Other news coverage reports that Puracal has blamed his arrest on a "Sandinista land grab."
Puracal, a native of Washington State, claims he has not committed any crimes and suspects his arrest is part of an attempted Sandinista "land grab" of properties where he has invested money in San Juan del Sur and Jinotega.
The evidence lined up against Puracal apparently consists mainly of bank records that show large amounts of money being transferred into and out of an account (Puracal says the transactions are simply escrow account activity by his clients buying houses).
Also, the Nicaraguan government says that the American DEA tipped them off about Puracal, but the DEA denies any involvement in the affair.
Rep. Adam Smith has also take notice of Puracal's situation, recently saying:
"They presented no evidence of a crime here. They have simply kidnapped and held him for a period of time and that is not in compliance with international law, it's not even in compliance with Nicaraguan law."
Whether any of this will get the State Department to pay attention remains to be seen.
But for now Puracal's supporters are likely happy to just be keeping his name in the news.