Purvis grad reportedly detained in Turkey - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

Purvis grad reportedly detained in Turkey

Posted: Updated:
Jason Dement  (Photo source: www.setjasonfree.blogspot.com) Jason Dement (Photo source: www.setjasonfree.blogspot.com)
ANKARA, Turkey (WLOX) -

Jason Dement was at the airport Monday in Ankara, Turkey.  A six day vacation was over.  It was time to fly back to Germany and go back to work.  But, the Purvis High School graduate never got on that plane.  And authorities won't let him leave the country.

The issue is a collection of rocks Dement and his wife admit they found on a Turkish beach. 

"We have made it a point to collect some rocks and/or sand from every country we go to," Dement writes in a blog he's started that details his ordeal. 

As Dement tried to get through the airport's security, the rocks set off a firestorm of problems.  Security guards noticed the rocks in Dement's bag, and immediately confiscated what the traveler thought were beach souvenirs. 

"The girl doing the translating told me that they would be sending the stones to a local museum historian to verify whether or not they were indeed historical artifacts," he writes.

If they're artifacts, Dement has been told Turkish authorities could charge him with smuggling.  And the penalty could be up to five years in prison.

Dement graduated from Purvis High School in 2001.  And he immediately joined the Army.

"He's worried.  And he's desperately trying to find some help," Karen Dement tells WLOX News. 

Karen is Dement's mom.  She lives in Gulfport.  And she feels so helpless. 

"I feel like my hands are tied because he's there and I'm here," Mom said.  "I think that's my main concern right now is getting him some help."

She knows if the rocks test positive, and they are artifacts, the situation will become very serious. 

"There was no intent there on his part," Mrs. Dement said.  "What do you do on the beach?  You pick up sand shells and rocks.  That's what he did."

The 30-year-old Dement isn't in custody. However, a seven day travel ban has been placed on Dement. So, he can't leave Turkey until a determination is made on the rocks Turkish authorities confiscated. He does have access to a computer.  So, he's been posting details of his ordeal on Facebook, and on a blog he started http://www.setjasonfree.blogspot.com/.

His most recent post says, "The legal office on the US Military Installation at Incirlik, Turkey was a tremendous help today. Due to my status as a Department of Defense Civilian (working in Germany), I was entitled to legal advice from their office."

Mom is hoping and praying that advice ultimately gets Jason out of Turkey. 

"I don't know what to think," Mrs. Dement said in a phone conversation with WLOX News. "I can't believe it's real."

Copyright 2013 WLOX. All rights reserved.

  • Most Popular StoriesMost Popular StoriesMore>>

  • Pearl High School student takes dream date to prom

    Pearl High School student takes dream date to prom

    Saturday, April 19 2014 12:26 AM EDT2014-04-19 04:26:01 GMT
    18-year-old Jacob Daniels can barely wipe the smile off his face, in anticipation of his Senior Prom Friday night. His mother Lori helps him try on his tuxedo as he talks about the dream girl he'll beMore >>
    Eighteen-year-old Jacob Daniels can barely wipe the smile off his face, in anticipation of his Senior Prom Friday night. His mother Lori helps him try on his tuxedo as he talks about the dream girl he'll be arm in arm with.
    More >>
  • Biloxi bakery celebrates 90 sweet years in business

    Biloxi bakery celebrates 90 sweet years in business

    Saturday, April 19 2014 6:54 AM EDT2014-04-19 10:54:05 GMT
    A Biloxi bakery has many people thinking of delicious pastries for Easter time. And they've been doing it for nine decades! The Electrik Maid Bake Shop is celebrating 90 years in the baking business.More >>
    A Biloxi bakery has many people thinking of delicious pastries for Easter time. And they've been doing it for nine decades! The Electrik Maid Bake Shop is celebrating 90 years in the baking business.More >>
  • Water advisories issued for 6 areas of the beach

    Water advisories issued for 6 areas of the beach

    Saturday, April 19 2014 7:55 AM EDT2014-04-19 11:55:08 GMT
    Advisories have been issued for several sections of the beach in Harrison and Hancock counties. The beaches aren't closed, but there may be an increased risk of illness associated with swimming in these areas.More >>
    Advisories have been issued for several sections of the beach in Harrison and Hancock counties. The beaches aren't closed, but there may be an increased risk of illness associated with swimming in these six areas.
    More >>
Powered by WorldNow

208 DeBuys Road
Biloxi, MS 39531
(228) 896-1313

FCC Public File
EEO Report
Closed Captioning

All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Worldnow and WLOX. All Rights Reserved.
For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.