Prior to the evening of Jan. 31, Richard Nolan Thomas II had never seen or held his youngest daughter.
In the company of his father, Dick, his son, Soloman, and several other family members, Richard went to the Portland International Airport that evening to greet his wife and the rest of his children as they returned from Honduras. That was the first time he had seen his family since being seized at gunpoint from his Honduran home in June 2004.
Since then, Richard had endured beatings, a heart attack and imprisonment. On the basis of what appears to be a bogus warrant, he was shackled in irons and flown to the U.S. in the custody of the U.S. Marshals. His pregnant wife and children were left defenseless in Honduras. The business he and his family had built was destroyed.
Richard has made his share of mistakes, a fact he freely admits. But he had never done anything to justify the treatment he received, let alone the terror that was visited on his wife and children and the destruction of his family business.
His nightmare grew out of the alleged fraud committed by his half-brother, Gary Thomas, who through the use of an ally in the oil industry was able to enlist the help - possibly unwittingly - of the U.S. embassy in Honduras and former Secretary of Commerce Donald Evans. It was through the intervention of these powerful people that a family business dispute became an international human-rights outrage.
(full text and supporting documents available at http://www.nwmeridian.com/content/060210_01_p1.php )