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FILE - This undated file photo provided by the Delaware County Sheriff's Office in Delaware, Ohio, shows Tommy Thompson, jailed on contempt-of-court charges since December 2015 for violating terms of a plea deal by refusing to respond to questions about the location of 500 missing gold coins. Former deep sea treasure hunter Tommy Thompson's attorney Todd Long asked in a Wednesday, June 14, 2017, court filing for U.S. District Judge Algenon Marbley to end Thompson's imprisonment on contempt-of-court charges, saying federal law prohibits holding someone under such conditions for more than 18 months. (Delaware County Sheriff's Office via AP, File)
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Lawyer for ex-treasure hunter asks judge to end jail time

FILE - This undated file photo provided by the Delaware County Sheriff's Office in Delaware, Ohio, shows Tommy Thompson, jailed on contempt-of-court charges since December 2015 for violating terms of a plea deal by refusing to respond to questions about the location of 500 missing gold coins. Former deep sea treasure hunter Tommy Thompson's attorney Todd Long asked in a Wednesday, June 14, 2017, court filing for U.S. District Judge Algenon Marbley to end Thompson's imprisonment on contempt-of-court charges, saying federal law prohibits holding someone under such conditions for more than 18 months. (Delaware County Sheriff's Office via AP, File)

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — The attorney for an ex-treasure hunter jailed on contempt-of-court charges is asking a federal judge in Ohio to end his client’s imprisonment.

Judge Algenon Marbley has held defendant Tommy Thompson in contempt of court since December 2015 for violating terms of a plea deal by refusing to respond to questions about the location of 500 missing gold coins.

Attorney Todd Long said in a Wednesday court filing that federal law prohibits holding someone under such conditions for longer than 18 months.

The coins, valued at up to $4 million, were minted from gold taken from the S.S. Central America, which sank in an 1857 hurricane.

Thompson previously said, without providing details, that the coins were turned over to a trust in Belize. The government doubts Thompson’s explanation.

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