A US Navy veteran from Texas who spent more than a year locked up in a maximum-security prison in Thailand for a crime he did not commit is finally back home with his family, according to loved ones and a new report.
Derek Keller, of Richmond, was locked up in Bangkok’s Klong Prem Prison in August 2018, when he was on vacation, KHOU reported.
He was accused of being the mastermind of a Ponzi scheme and faced decades behind bars, according to the report.
The arrest stemmed from a series of corporate videos that Keller, who also pursued acting, appeared in for a company called the Eagle Gates Group Co. Ltd. — which was later under investigation for a scam that predominantly targeted investors from Thailand and other Asian countries, according to the Thai Examiner.
Keller knew nothing about the scheme until his arrest, and was initially told that the matter would be resolved as a misunderstanding, according to the report.
But he ultimately spent 14 months in lockup, despite his family’s desperate pleas to President Trump, Sen. Ted Cruz, Sen. John Cornyn, Gov. Greg Abbott and others, according to KHOU.
Keller was found not guilty late last month — only to be detained again as he tried to leave Thailand, according to KHOU.
But the family’s battle finally came to an end this week. On Tuesday, Keller met up with his wife, Tanya, and daughter, Beverly, at a South Korean airport, the station reported.
And on Wednesday, he finally arrived in the Lone Star State.
“Just landed in Texas safe and sound, back with his family,” his loved ones posted to a Facebook page chronicling Keller’s story. “There are not enough words for how happy we feel. As a family, we are taking a few days to decompress and process our emotions. Derrick is looking forward to seeing his family, friends and supporters soon. Thank you for all your support and prayers.”