Just days after the one-year anniversary of his conviction, an appeal panel in Nicaragua has ordered the release of a Tacoma man and University of Washington graduate who maintained for nearly two years that he was wrongly imprisoned in the country.
Jason Puracal, 35, was arrested in the resort village of San Juan del Sur on November 11, 2010. Along with 10 Nicaraguans, he was accused of operating a drug trafficking ring that brought cocaine up from Costa Rica.
On Aug. 29, 2011, Puracal was convicted of drug trafficking, money laundering and organized crime. He was later sentenced to 22 years in a prison near the capitol city of Managua.
In early August, Puracal was granted the appeal hearing before a three-judge appellate panel in Granada. His attorney, Fabbrith Gomez, said the court vacated the charges against Puracal on Wednesday and ordered him released immediately. Continue reading →