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Riverton mom continues fight to bring son, imprisoned in Venezuela, home

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Posted at 10:49 PM, Jul 26, 2016
and last updated 2016-07-27 00:49:51-04

RIVERTON, Utah - On Wednesday, Laurie Holt will fly to Washington D.C. in hopes of bending the ear of politicians whom may be able to help free her son.

"I'll be pleading with the Venezuelan Embassy, and with the State Department," Holt said.

Holt's son, Josh, went to Venezuela last month to marry a woman he had started a six-month relationship with online. Based off the pictures she's seen, she said her son's wedding looked beautiful.

However, what happened in the days thereafter has turned into a nightmare.

"My son is basically a political prisoner there," Holt said.

Holt said witnesses from the area tell her that Venezuelan police illegally entered her son's apartment that he shared with his wife.

They allegedly found two assault rifles and a grenade.

"There's no way he would have something like that," Laurie Holt exclaims.

For the past month, her son has sat in a six-by-six holding cell waiting for a trial to see if he will be charged. In the meantime, Laurie Holt has spent days trying to reach out to local political figures in Utah, including the offices of Senators Mike Lee, and Orrin Hatch.

Still, her son sits in a Venezuelan prison.

She believes he's simply a pawn in a chess game between Venezuelan and American governments.

Good news came this week when she learned her son Josh had been moved to a military hospital after getting kidney stones. Josh Holt's attorney tells his mom that's the best thing that could have happened because the hospital has much better living conditions.

Now, Holt is off to D.C. to try and convince political figures in Washington to go to bat for her son. She hopes to be back in time for a rally this Saturday on the Capitol steps in Salt Lake City at 11 a.m. to help raise funds.

Holt said she's already being stretched to a breaking point on attorney's fees, and now she's looking around the house to see what she can begin to sell off.