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Josh Holt ordered to stand trial on weapons charges

CARACAS, Venzuela (News4Utah) – A judge has ordered a Utah man imprisoned in Venezuela to stand trial on weapons charges.

The family’s attorney confirmed the latest development in the Josh Holt case Tuesday. The family had some hope Josh may be released soon after more than a year in prison.

Josh traveled to Venezuela in 2016 to marry Thamara Candela. A short time later, he and his wife were arrested and accused of illegal possession of weapons.

This latest ruling comes a day after the Holt family released audio of Josh complaining of being ill. The family had hoped the message would put pressure on U.S. leaders to find a way to bring him home. 

Senator Orrin Hatch issued the following statement following the judge’s ruling Tuesday:

“As we keep Josh and his family in our prayers, I've called on the President, Vice President, State Department, and our UN Delegation to redouble our efforts to bring Josh home, and I've had my staff working to explore new avenues to work with the Venezuelan government and their neighbors to secure Josh's release on humanitarian grounds. We will not give up.”

Hatch has worked with the Holt family and both the Trump and Obama administrations in attempt to secure Josh’s release.

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