The Venezuelan government has charged a West Hollywood filmmaker with criminal activity for allegedly inciting post-election violence within the South American nation.
Timothy Tracy was charged Saturday with conspiracy and using a fake public document, among other crimes. He was arrested earlier in the week at Simon Bolivar International Airport outside of the capital, Caracas, as he tried to leave the country.
Venezuelan officials accuse the 35-year-old Tracy of working on behalf of U.S. intelligence agencies, according to the Associated Press, and newly elected President Nicolas Maduro said Thursday he ordered Tracy's arrest on suspicion that the American was "creating violence in the cities of this country."
The country's interior minister earlier this week also said Tracy paid right-wing youth groups to hold violent demonstrations with the aim of destabilizing the nation after Maduro's narrow victory, the AP said.
Tracy's friends and family told the AP he has been in Venezuela since last year working on a documentary film and that the charges seem bogus.
"They don't have CIA in custody. They don't have a journalist in custody. They have a kid with a camera," friend Aengus James told the AP. "He does not really know what he's doing."
Mery Mogollon reported from Caracas, Venezuela.