UNIVERSITY HEIGHTS, Ohio — It sounds almost too bizarre to believe.
A father from Solon has been trapped for months in Thailand after a bullet was allegedly found in his bag at the airport. He said it was not his.
“It sounds crazy,” Tanya Jones said.
Her son, Mike Jones, had been spending the week of his 37th birthday in Thailand in December, only to have trouble at the airport in Bangkok when it was time to return.
“And they said ‘Oh you have a bullet. A single bullet in your duffel bag,’” Tanya Jones said.
Her son had been detained and called her from a holding room at the airport. She, in turn, called the embassy which put her in touch with an attorney, who told her that Jones could spend up to 30 years in jail unless he got an attorney.
It was not cheap.
“A lot,” Jones said. “Thousands and thousands and thousands. A lot. A whole lot.”
She estimates she has spent more than $20,000 so far. The family has set up a GoFundMe page to help.
This week, the situation appeared to improve when Mike Jones went before a judge, who cleared him, but there was still a catch. The court has 30 days to appeal the ruling before returning his passport.
Despite the appeals of U.S. lawmakers, Mike Jones’ situation is hardly unique: Last year, a bullet was allegedly found in the checked luggage of Pennsylvania fire chief, Michael Morra. His family said he spent time in what they described as “a prison with unsanitary and unsafe conditions” before his release.
Jones’ family is confident of his return, adding he will have one more hurdle when it happens. He is likely to be quarantined in either Texas or California due to possible exposure to coronavirus.