American Tourist Avoids Jail Time for Ammunition in Turks and Caicos (Fined $2,000)

American Tourist Avoids Jail Time for Ammunition in Turks and Caicos (Fined $2,000)
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Amer­i­can tourist Ryan Wat­son dodged a lengthy prison sen­tence in Turks and Caicos after unknow­ing­ly bring­ing ammu­ni­tion in his car­ry-on luggage. 

The father-of-two from Okla­homa faced a poten­tial 12 years behind bars under the coun­try’s strict firearms laws. How­ev­er, in a recent court hear­ing, the judge acknowl­edged “excep­tion­al cir­cum­stances” and imposed a $2,000 fine ($500 per bullet).

Wat­son’s case is one of sev­er­al involv­ing Amer­i­can tourists unin­ten­tion­al­ly vio­lat­ing Turks and Caicos’ ammu­ni­tion laws.

Sim­i­lar inci­dents involv­ing Tyler Wen­rich and Bryan Hagerich also result­ed in fines and time served. In response to these sit­u­a­tions, the Turks and Caicos gov­ern­ment recent­ly amend­ed its firearms ordi­nance, grant­i­ng courts more sen­tenc­ing flexibility. 

Judges can now choose fines, impris­on­ment, or both, depend­ing on the specifics of each case.

Relieved after the court deci­sion, Wat­son expressed his new­found opti­mism com­pared to fac­ing the ini­tial 12-year sen­tence threat. 

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