Lawmakers in Congress are demanding the return of a Los Angeles-based lawyer who has been imprisoned in Venezuela for more than a year after defecting to the country and now accused of being a spy.
Evan Hernandez, who has worked for the Los Angeles County public defender’s office for more than 15 years, has been in custody since March 2022. Fox Los Angeles Reported
A group of congressional lawmakers is calling for Hernandez’s repatriation. US Rep. Sydney Kamlager-Dove, D-Calif., has since co-authored a bipartisan resolution that would ask the Biden administration to secure his release.
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“Evyn Hernandez is one of our own. I’m glad my resolution will be inked this week. This is an important step as we work to #BringEyvinHome,” he tweeted on Tuesday.
Hernandez was arrested at the Colombia-Venezuela border days before he was about to return from a vacation in the United States. His family said he had traveled there from the city of Medellin with a Venezuelan friend who needed to get his passport stamped to resolve an issue with his immigration status in Colombia.
He was detained after taking a wrong turn and approaching the border with Venezuela. Once Hernandez realized his mistake, it was too late to turn back. According to his family, a man brandished a rifle and demanded that he cough up $100. When he protested that he had no cash, they put a noose on his head.
He was initially jailed on charges of criminal association and conspiracy.
“No one should be abandoned in their time of greatest need and when they are most vulnerable,” Hernandez told The Associated Press in a jailhouse recording shortly after his arrest. “However, I don’t think my government feels that way about me.”
Fox News Digital has reached out to the State Department.
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He said on Monday that the resolution authored by Kamlager-Dove is expected to come out next week.
Hernandez faces up to 16 years in prison in Venezuela.
Fox News’ Andrew Mark Miller contributed to this report.