American Faces 12 Years In Jail For Bringing Ammunition To Turks & Caicos

American Faces 12 Years In Jail For Bringing Ammunition To Turks & Caicos

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An American visitor to Turks & Caicos is facing a lengthy jail sentence, after he accidentally brought some ammunition with him on a trip. I’m sort of sympathetic, but also sort of not.

Turks & Caicos visitor caught with ammo in carry-on bag

A man from Oklahoma recently took a vacation to Turks & Caicos with his wife and some friends, to celebrate his 40th birthday. The trip was supposed to come to an end on April 7, 2024, at which point the couple headed to Providenciales International Airport (PLS) for their return flight to the United States.

While going through security, the man’s bag was pulled aside for further screening, and it was discovered that he had ammunition on him. The traveler claimed this was an accident, and that it was hunting ammunition for whitetail deer, which he simply forgot to remove from his bag.

The traveler acknowledged that this was “a bonehead mistake,” but probably wasn’t prepared for the consequences. Turks & Caicos has among the strictest laws in the world regarding firearms and ammunition, with a mandatory 12-year prison sentence for those who are caught.

As a matter of fact, in the past the US Embassy has issued specific warnings regarding this, given the severity of the punishment:

Firearms, ammunition, and other weapons are not permitted in the Turks and Caicos Islands (TCI). TCI authorities strictly enforce all firearms related laws. The penalty for traveling to TCI with a firearm, ammunition, or other weapon is a minimum custodial sentence of twelve (12) years.

The couple were arrested and had their passports confiscated. While they were both initially charged, the wife was eventually released, and was allowed to return to the United States. However, the man is now out on $15,000 bail, but has to stay within Turks & Caicos, and can’t return to the United States.

In an interview, the wife explained that “we have kids at home, and this is such an innocent mistake,” and that their “goal is to get Ryan home, because we can’t be a family without Dad.”

How much sympathy should we have here?

I absolutely believe that this man didn’t intend to travel with this ammunition. Furthermore, the thought of a father being locked up for 12 years is obviously terrible, especially as the couple of have young children.

At the same time, at a minimum I think this is a good reminder that your “rights” don’t apply when you travel abroad, and you should be careful to follow all laws of the country you’re traveling to:

  • There’s no indication here that the man is being singled out or discriminated against, but rather Turks & Caicos just has very strict laws regarding weapons and ammunition, and that’s the country’s prerogative
  • Keep in mind that traveling with ammunition in a carry-on is illegal in the United States as well, it’s just not as heavily punished; heck, if you get caught with a gun at a security checkpoint in the US, the penalty is minimal (which is probably why the TSA catches thousands of firearms each year)
  • While the United States has a “unique” gun culture, gun owners also need to recognize that their choice to have a gun comes with a lot of responsibility, and that needs to be taken seriously; if you “forget” that you have weapons or ammunition in a bag (as so many people do), you have to be ready for the consequences

I believe this was an “innocent” mistake, and it sucks to think the consequences this traveler may suffer. At the same time, I’m a little puzzled by the way much of the media is portraying this incident. Many are trying to make it sound as if the traveler was the victim of a horrible injustice, almost as if he was falsely accused of something.

International travel comes with responsibility, and just because the consequences for something are limited in the United States, doesn’t mean that will be the case abroad. I imagine that a resident of Turks & Caicos would face the same punishment as a foreigner, so is ignorance regarding laws really an acceptable excuse?

Bottom line

An American traveling to Turks & Caicos is facing up to 12 years in jail, after he was found with ammunition on him while leaving the country. He claimed that he forgot the ammunition was in his bags. Unfortunately for him, Turks & Caicos has among the strictest laws in the world when it comes to weapons and ammunition, and now he may pay the price for that.

I’m curious to see how this plays out, and if the increased media attention causes the country to reduce the punishment, or make an example of him.

What do you make of this Turks & Caicos incident?

Conversations (157)
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  1. R B Guest

    sentencing to be announced today 5/24

  2. Ricardo Guest

    This is 100% on him.
    How does he not check his baggage before travel. I always do, as a just in case.
    I do hope he learns his lesson, and I would not be sympathetic if he did receive all 12 years. Ideally he spends a couple of years in there for it to really sink in.

  3. Thomas Guest

    Anti “Gun and Ammunition” laws, enforced by Guns and Ammunition, rather humorous.

  4. Jo Ann Guest

    How did he get into the country with the ammunition in his bag?

    1. 9volt Gold

      Small arms ammunition is permitted in your checked bag, in “small” quantities (the exact number is not stated). It sounds like he only had a “few” rounds, so he was able to get it through on the US side.

  5. Bruce Guest

    I thought Turks and Caicos was small, but wow it is really small, only 45,000 people and $1.3 billion GDP. This place is so small a GOP billionaire gun nut could just buy the whole country and get the charges for their fellow gun lovers dropped.

  6. Aaron Guest

    ZERO sympathy. Keep those gun-lovers there for good.

  7. Eskimo Guest

    Using kids as a hostage to get help an sympathy?
    Someone needs to call CPS.

    Trying to imagine if an Arab or Muslim get caught with ammunitions.

    Maybe TSA scanners are very advanced it has been white AI trained.

    Then there is hunting. Killing innocent deer is ok. But an outcry if a politician kills a dog?

    And like others have said ignorance for local laws. If the government intervenes, then disrespectful of local...

    Using kids as a hostage to get help an sympathy?
    Someone needs to call CPS.

    Trying to imagine if an Arab or Muslim get caught with ammunitions.

    Maybe TSA scanners are very advanced it has been white AI trained.

    Then there is hunting. Killing innocent deer is ok. But an outcry if a politician kills a dog?

    And like others have said ignorance for local laws. If the government intervenes, then disrespectful of local laws. Playing the big bully.

    On the other hand, TCI shouldn't be scaring tourists away like this. There are better ways to deal with "allegedly" innocent mistake. Like a few days locked up, heavy fines, lifetime ban to the whole family including spouse and children.

    However, since they went public. I think it's a good time to make an example, at least a few years. Maybe a parole after a year to clean the bathroom and floor at TCI Sam's club.

  8. 305 Guest

    I’m sure all those crying for jail time for this guy were doing the same for Brittany Griner bringing weed into Russia

    1. Eskimo Guest

      I'm sure you think as an American you are above any law and rule the world.

  9. dt Guest

    Apparently he's the third guy who got caught and the previous guy got 8 months. So that might be what he gets.. or perhaps they will slowly ramp up the punishment to make a point of it.

    https://www.nbcboston.com/investigations/consumer/turks-caicos-ammunition-arrests/3347412/

  10. snory New Member

    Well... Just to think that all of these could have been prevented if the TSA caught it on the outbound leg of the trip.

  11. Charlton Guest

    Its so odd that bullets and guns are so casually and irresponsibly handled by Americans. I come from a country where we can own guns, but we are vetted, well trained, and also conscious of its location at all times. If you want to own a gun, you should always be aware of where it, and its ammo are. People that get caught with guns and ammo at airports should have their right to bear arms revoked. How is that controversial for so many in the U.S.?

    1. Lionhearted Guest

      Perhaps you didn’t mean to say “Americans” but rather “some Americans”. I do admire a bit of cultural elitism though. “Americans” are not immune from that.

  12. KK13 Diamond

    I hope my tax dollars won’t be used to release these idiot!

    Let him be there for 12 years.. one freak less in the country.

    1. Eskimo Guest

      Nope, your tax dollars are safe. They will be used on supplying and arming buffer nations to fight our proxy war.

  13. Capo Guest

    Thoughts and prayers. That is all help,he deserves. I hope he gets 12. Tired of these stupid gun fans ruining this country. Thousands killed by firearms every year. Kids and parents living in fear of another school shooting. To hell with all gun lovers.

  14. jacky chan Guest

    This may be unpopular opinion but white people can get away with most of the things. If he was Asian or holding a non-western passport, he would be in jail already.

  15. Watson Diamond

    I guess all the people saying this guy should rot will have the same opinion the next time an American is arrested for homosexuality in Saudi Arabia? Or a dime bag in Singapore?

    I have sympathy for all travelers ensnared by a wildly different law than exists in their own country, assuming there's no harm or intent. Most of them are just idiots, and tossing idiots in prison accomplishes nothing.

    1. Eskimo Guest

      On less idiots loose on the streets potentially could be recklessly doing harm with no intent. Until some prank with live nukes.

      I'm looking at you TikTok and YouTubers.

    2. kensingtonsd New Member

      Not at all a false equivalency (sarcasm)

    3. Watson Diamond

      Yeah it's not. Your personal moral compass is irrelevant.

  16. Brent Guest

    It is unfortunate. I'm confused as to why someone would have a box of hunting ammo in their luggage, but in the US, we don't really have many gun safety laws that require handling ammunition carefully.
    However, American often feel that their dollars entitle them to not know or care about the laws of the countries they visit. And those places we visit: they notice. There's often a bit of contempt for our willful...

    It is unfortunate. I'm confused as to why someone would have a box of hunting ammo in their luggage, but in the US, we don't really have many gun safety laws that require handling ammunition carefully.
    However, American often feel that their dollars entitle them to not know or care about the laws of the countries they visit. And those places we visit: they notice. There's often a bit of contempt for our willful ignorance, especially in beach destinations where we descend upon a place in droves to enjoy the natural environment, but get frustrated about the cultural experience (or the inconveniences) in another country.
    Do I think the guy should get 12 years? No. Is it my law? No. Is the law unjust? On its own, I don't think so.
    There's a pretty good chance that T&C will be lenient with him if he shows some contrition and respect for the country. But trying to run a media campaign portraying him as a victim does not help. He needs to be honest that T&C's strong national interest in arms control, however we may feel about it, is legitimate. Moreover, he needs to acknowledge that he was careless in not considering their interests when traveling to their country. The ability to travel across borders is a privilege. Our ability to do so is due to the fact that our wallets are a little lighter when we leave -- that's the deal. Come, enjoy the beach, leave some of those dollars with the local economy. It would also be nice if you would show some respect when doing it. This man did not do that.
    I don't want anything to happen to him, but T&C is well within their rights to make an example of him.

  17. Who cares Guest

    Sorry for anyone who feels sorry for an idiot that couldn’t follow the rules of the country he lives in and is visiting things a waste of a headline and story

  18. Tim Dunn Diamond

    NBC News just carried the story on its Nightly News. Other news sources will pick it up if they haven't already.
    Perhaps when Turks and Caicos sees a significant drop in bookings, their judges will realize that a little common sense is in order.
    A reminder at the gate or check-in by US airlines might do wonders to help travelers do another check for what has consistently been less than a handful of stray bullets.

    1. UA-NYC Diamond

      Or maybe they will see absolutely no change (likely), or perhaps an uptick even (aka, fewer Uncle Sam’s packing heat, safer to visit)

    2. LarryInNYC Diamond

      You are 100% reminded at all kiosks and online check-ins about what you cannot have in your bag. In-person check-in I guess they just mention e-cigs and batteries.

    3. Dark Side of the Moon Guest

      Tim, you need to chill lol

      Turks and Caicos are gonna be fine. In fact, it's on my list now because of this article :)

      I don't know if gun wielding fiends are even travelling lol

    4. STEFFL Diamond

      @Tim Dunn
      ...."A reminder at the gate or check-in by US airlines might do
      wonders"
      .... next thing for American Travelers just not doing there homework when leaving there home is to "remind" them to bring your passport when traveling or do your homework when visiting a foreign country?!
      C'mon, either you're grown up and deserve the right to have a gun (at least in sone states in the US) and...

      @Tim Dunn
      ...."A reminder at the gate or check-in by US airlines might do
      wonders"
      .... next thing for American Travelers just not doing there homework when leaving there home is to "remind" them to bring your passport when traveling or do your homework when visiting a foreign country?!
      C'mon, either you're grown up and deserve the right to have a gun (at least in sone states in the US) and act accordingly or you got to be responsible for your act!
      If you forget your passport, do YOU think a reminder at the airport would help you, it most likely is too late then!
      What would they do, put a gun and ammunition in a garbage can? NO matter where in the world this would happen!
      BTW, in the fine print of Airline check-in rules, IT IS STATED, no firearms or explosives!
      DO YOU just travel often, but never read rules yourself? :-o
      I guess, DL does not like to see that?
      Do (all travelers!) your research and get prepared if you get on a trip.
      Simple as that!
      Too many signs all over the stupid airports already!
      Bombarded with collect miles, sign up for a credit card, want to upgrade, .....
      Even with a sign, THIS Guy would have probably NOT thought of any stray bullets in his carry on!
      So, NO ADDED WARNING NEEDED! . . . just simply use your brain!

  19. Jimmy Guest

    Yet you same people talking about not using a dime of tax dollars on him, no sympathy yadda yadda were desperately begging Biden to get the WNBA player out of Russia right? She knowingly and purposely packed an illegal substance. But that's ok, bring her back right? Hypocrites.

    1. jacky chan Guest

      That WNBA player was in national team so the opportunity cost was different compared to us, normal people,

    2. Sel, D. Guest

      Sorry Jimmy that was a famous queer person of color. You can’t compare her political value to that of a white man.

    3. STEFFL Diamond

      @Jimmy
      MAYBE you're right?
      ... and i have NO sympathy for either one!
      Simply get prepared if you go somewhere else!
      Simple as that.

  20. Mark Guest

    Definitely falls into the play stupid games, win stupid prizes category.

    This no different than leaving a gun in one’s bag, quite honestly.

    When people have their parents over, they don’t leave their sex toys out on display, usually.

    Sorry, no sympathy here.

  21. WBW Guest

    It's kind of scary that this ammunition was not found when he passed thru security upon leaving the US.

    1. Alan Guest

      Yep, this totally this! If it was picked up at screening in the US it wouldn't have been an issue!

    2. FlyerDon Guest

      Maybe he checked his bag, on the way down, so the back would not have passed through TSA screening.

    3. Timtamtrak Diamond

      Checked bags are screened, but ammunition is permitted in checked baggage so it wouldn’t have raised any alarms. The bags go through the same screening regardless of destination.

  22. Pete Guest

    What a shame he or his wife don't work for the CIA, or the government would repatriate them immediately and refuse all attempts at extradition, like they did for Anne Sacoolas after she killed that English lad with her dangerously reckless driving.

    1. Biglaw V10 Partner Guest

      There’s one thing living in NYC doesn’t instill in you: empathy for another human being.

      (Posted from my friend’s office in Hudson Yards.)

    2. UA-NYC Diamond

      Plenty of empathy, though none for rootin tootin Yanks flying their ammo all over the world

    3. Biglaw V10 Partner Guest

      Ok fair enough but you gotta understand there are losers living in sh*tty walkup apartments in Brooklyn who walk around the city with a pouty face and a hair trigger temper at anything and everyone. I saw a woman in the park

      the freaking park

      lose it at a 5 year old girl who happened to run into her path. The woman almost tripped because she was buried in her cell phone instead of looking...

      Ok fair enough but you gotta understand there are losers living in sh*tty walkup apartments in Brooklyn who walk around the city with a pouty face and a hair trigger temper at anything and everyone. I saw a woman in the park

      the freaking park

      lose it at a 5 year old girl who happened to run into her path. The woman almost tripped because she was buried in her cell phone instead of looking at the path.

      And the 25 year old woman’s instinct was to lash out at a 5 year old girl.

      There’s too many of these stuck up women with no empathy in NYC.

    4. UA-NYC Diamond

      I nominate thee for Non Sequitur of the Year

    5. Vinay Guest

      Being an Incel is tough, no matter where you live.

    6. UA-NYC Diamond

      He’s a perfectly nice lawyer, not an incel

    7. KK13 Diamond

      Empathy? For an idiot? Nah
      Let him be behind the bars for 12 years. Will teach him well

    8. J.J. Guest

      But but wait, he’s wearing a big cross. Jesus will intervene.

  23. Dan Guest

    Everybody commenting that he should face a fine and be let go is the best example of American stubbornness. The second you step off that plane and go through customs, the US can’t protect you anymore. You are in another country and you have to abide by their laws. All the embassy can do is ensure your rights as protected by international laws. Other than that, they will only refer you to attorney or lawyers...

    Everybody commenting that he should face a fine and be let go is the best example of American stubbornness. The second you step off that plane and go through customs, the US can’t protect you anymore. You are in another country and you have to abide by their laws. All the embassy can do is ensure your rights as protected by international laws. Other than that, they will only refer you to attorney or lawyers in that country and it’s all on your dime. It’s like people who travel abroad with no travel health insurance, fall and break a leg, and then expect the US to help them financially. American arrogance. It always surprises me how the Ted Cruz and MTGs talk about American exceptionalism yet all vacation in Mexico and islands where they have zero rights and expect preferential treatment because they are Americans

    1. Biglaw V10 Partner Guest

      The embassy, if they cared, could house you and prevent the local authorities from arresting or detaining you.

      How to get the embassy to care? Have US Citizens protest nationwide and generate international coverage of the unjust detention of an American in a foreign country.

      What a shame the US Citizenry at large would prefer to say screw the guy he made a mistake. Sigh. The US is the most unkind country when it comes...

      The embassy, if they cared, could house you and prevent the local authorities from arresting or detaining you.

      How to get the embassy to care? Have US Citizens protest nationwide and generate international coverage of the unjust detention of an American in a foreign country.

      What a shame the US Citizenry at large would prefer to say screw the guy he made a mistake. Sigh. The US is the most unkind country when it comes to citizens standing up for their fellow citizens.

    2. Moon Guest

      Unjust? get over yourself lol

    3. Ben Guest

      How could the embassy prevent the local authorities detaining or arresting someone?

    4. tda1986 Diamond

      You say this as if there are no possible consequences of the US shielding its citizens abroad from standard enforcement of local laws. Naive.

  24. Chet Member

    If you go on a trip to another country and accidentally have bullets with you, and then you return back to the the United States, and once again accidentally have bullets with you, then you have packed too many things. (namely bullets.). Maybe they were in a hidden pouch? It is surprising that he did not run into them when he was looking for his swimsuit, underwear, or other necessary things that were presumably in the bag, when he was unpacking.

  25. sandiegodereck New Member

    eh. He deserves prison and maybe this will make him rethink his support of the stupid gun culture we have in the US.

    1. Biglaw V10 Partner Guest

      Gun culture in the US is indeed a shame and an embarrassment, but your claim that he deserves prison speaks volumes about your level of empathy for another human being, let alone another citizen.

    2. Pete Guest

      The bottom line is that the law is the law. It pays to check if the country you're planning to visit has any strange or particularly strict laws and ensure you don't break them. I'd also suggest that your own country is just as bad - try entering the United States with ounce of cannabis that you purchased legally in Canada and see just how much empathy you get from the CBP agents, even when you wave your US passport at them.

  26. Matt Guest

    All guns should be banned in the US. There is no right to bear arms. It is the activist conservative corrupt justices’ willfully wrong interpretation of the second amendment.

    1. Vinay Guest

      Good luck, Matt. This is as aspirational as "All morons should be banned in the US". I'd love for idiots like you to be deported/banned from entry, but you and your ilk are very useful for parenting purposes.

    2. Biglaw V10 Partner Guest

      All guns should be banned in the US, full stop. “Vinay” might be the beneficiary of an H-1B visa program that has been exploited by one nation that starts with I and rhymes with Chlamydia.

    3. Vinay Guest

      Nice. Sorry to disappoint, but I'm a natural born American. Btw, India and Chlamydia don't rhyme, moron.

    4. Norman Guest

      Even for criminals? It's a tool of the trade . Without crime the economy will collapse. jobs for police, courts, prison officers and suppliers will be greatly diminished if we have only petty crime.
      Deficit spending would be reduced which would be bad for investment bankers. Maybe make gun ownership mandatory?

  27. Vinay Guest

    Just curious how many of the "play stupid games, win stupid prizes" crowd are equally unsympathetic towards those Americans locked up in the Middle East for engaging in homosexual activities. You've got to be consistent.

    1. Biglaw V10 Partner Guest

      I can’t get a consistent dish of mattar paneer. Some restaurants serve basically soup with chunks of cheese. Others serve a proper curry.

    2. Vinay Guest

      Learn to cook at home. More specifically, make sure your mom learns a good recipe for mattar paneer. Have fun being an incel for the rest of your pathetic life.

    3. Vishal Guest

      Lmaooooooo honestly as a gay guy, haven't seen any stories of gays engaging in homosexual activities and getting caught for it.

      Do you know people having sex outside or something? get out of here with your stupid incel fallacy

    4. kensingtonsd New Member

      Likewise being gay isn’t a choice. Engaging in activities in a country where it’s illegal is. Owning ammunition is a choice - bringing it to a foreign country is a choice - one doesn’t choose to bring their sexuality to a foreign country. If they act on it, then there are consequences. This person brought prohibited items with him. Is 12 years harsh, yes. Maybe he’ll strongly consider being more respectful of other countries laws/customs...

      Likewise being gay isn’t a choice. Engaging in activities in a country where it’s illegal is. Owning ammunition is a choice - bringing it to a foreign country is a choice - one doesn’t choose to bring their sexuality to a foreign country. If they act on it, then there are consequences. This person brought prohibited items with him. Is 12 years harsh, yes. Maybe he’ll strongly consider being more respectful of other countries laws/customs next time he travels abroad and leave America’s ethnocentric gun culture in the USA.

  28. Christian Guest

    Play stupid games win stupid prizes. Just because the USA is ridiculously lax doesn’t mean other countries are as well.

  29. echino Diamond

    Ben, taking the word "rights" in quotes speaks volumes about your character.

  30. George Romey Guest

    Sorry but "forgetting a gun" in your luggage/roller board/backpack is beyond stupid. Any responsible gun owner would have never let anything like that happen.

  31. Mason Guest

    Everyone here might wanna think deep before judging something. I mean, don't you all like the "presumption of innocence"? Then apply that to everyone, not to just yourselves and the ones you like/support, unless you think it's a privilege instead of a right (it is a right, in most of the countries besides the ones you dislike, btw).

    Ignoring the presumption of innocence is a common conservative strategy. Surprised to see that on the one...

    Everyone here might wanna think deep before judging something. I mean, don't you all like the "presumption of innocence"? Then apply that to everyone, not to just yourselves and the ones you like/support, unless you think it's a privilege instead of a right (it is a right, in most of the countries besides the ones you dislike, btw).

    Ignoring the presumption of innocence is a common conservative strategy. Surprised to see that on the one of the most liberal based website I've ever been so far. No wonder why are even Democrats turning away from liberals

    1. Jojo Guest

      He was found with ammo when LEAVING the country. Does T&C not have immigration and customs checks upon landing???
      How did the TSA miss this??

    2. Jason Wong Guest

      Jojo, like all countries Turks and Caicos has immigration and customs checks when you enter the country from overseas.

      And, like most countries, not everyone has all of their belongings searched/X-rayed when you enter the country.

      How did the TSA miss this? Well, it seems that the TSA doesn't have the best track record at detecting things.

    3. sandiegodereck New Member

      The TSA misses all kinds of things. That is theatre security, not real security.

    4. FlyerDon Guest

      Maybe he checked his bag on the leg to PLS.

    5. Kels2003 Guest

      It doesn’t matter if we have presumption of innocence. It only matters what country you’re standing in. Many do not.

    6. JDee Diamond

      The guy admitted he had the ammunition so how is the presumption of innocence even relevant in this case?

    7. tda1986 Diamond

      Presumption of innocence? No one has denied he brought the ammo into the country. He is guilty. The only question is whether/what punishment is appropriate.

      Also, there’s no reason why a legal standard applied in a court of law should govern public debate outside court. sure, it would be nice if people didn’t jump to conclusions, but no one needs to wait for a verdict for a case like this.

    8. Anonymous Traveler Guest

      "Presumption of innocence" is from a legal perspective. A court of law must assume innocence until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt, since the court has the power to strip a person of their right to freedom. It is completely reasonable that I, a regular person, can form an opinion based on a reasonable amount of information and say I believe someone is guilty. The entire world doesn't wait with bated breath to form an...

      "Presumption of innocence" is from a legal perspective. A court of law must assume innocence until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt, since the court has the power to strip a person of their right to freedom. It is completely reasonable that I, a regular person, can form an opinion based on a reasonable amount of information and say I believe someone is guilty. The entire world doesn't wait with bated breath to form an opinion until a verdict is issued.

      Of course it is reasonable to use caution when forming an opinion, seek out more information, or reserving judgement for a later date, but it is ridiculous to start throwing around legal principles to try and police personal opinions. You didn't submit your comment into evidence properly, I object!

  32. Lela Guest

    I find it interesting that you imply that he should get preferential treatment because he is a FATHER, as you wrote "the thought of a father being locked up for 12 years is obviously terrible, especially as the couple of have young children."
    Wow! I agree with you that the sentence could be potentially overboard in terms of severity, should he get better treatment because he's a father?

    If there was somebody else...

    I find it interesting that you imply that he should get preferential treatment because he is a FATHER, as you wrote "the thought of a father being locked up for 12 years is obviously terrible, especially as the couple of have young children."
    Wow! I agree with you that the sentence could be potentially overboard in terms of severity, should he get better treatment because he's a father?

    If there was somebody else in the same situation who was not a father or mother, with exactly the same circumstances, would it be a situation of "NO SOUP FOR YOU! You have no kids, you 12 years, and by the way, the father gets to go home"

    I frequently see this in the media where the person being a parent should be afforded more leniency because they are a apparent. If you do the same crime you should get the same punishment. Minorities have been arguing this for millennium n

    1. tda1986 Diamond

      If all we care about is punishing people who break the law, then you are entirely correct. However, there are often more important societal interests at play than simply doling out punishment. It makes little sense to throw the book at someone if it means harming innocent children. I’m not saying parents should get a pass on breaking the law, but it can be a valid mitigating circumstance in certain cases.

    2. kensingtonsd New Member

      Children are a choice, not a disease or a condition

  33. Jason Wong Guest

    It's actually not uncommon for Americans to be arrested for bringing guns/ammo to Turks and Caicos. I don't have much sympathy for this guy.

    https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/other/virginia-emt-arrested-in-turks-and-caicos-after-ammo-allegedly-found-in-luggage/ar-AA1nK5Z6

    https://bs.usembassy.gov/travel-alert-do-not-bring-firearms-ammunition-to-the-turks-and-caicos-islands/

    https://www.miamiherald.com/news/nation-world/world/americas/article268794147.html

    https://magneticmediatv.com/2023/07/american-tourist-arrested-found-with-gun-at-providenciales-intl-airport/

    https://suntci.com/judge-sends-strong-message-to-tourists-who-bring-guns-to-turks-and-caicos-p9755-129.htm

    It's actually not uncommon for Americans to be arrested for bringing guns/ammo to Turks and Caicos. I don't have much sympathy for this guy.

    https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/other/virginia-emt-arrested-in-turks-and-caicos-after-ammo-allegedly-found-in-luggage/ar-AA1nK5Z6

    https://bs.usembassy.gov/travel-alert-do-not-bring-firearms-ammunition-to-the-turks-and-caicos-islands/

    https://www.miamiherald.com/news/nation-world/world/americas/article268794147.html

    https://magneticmediatv.com/2023/07/american-tourist-arrested-found-with-gun-at-providenciales-intl-airport/

    https://suntci.com/judge-sends-strong-message-to-tourists-who-bring-guns-to-turks-and-caicos-p9755-129.htm

  34. Cry me a River Guest

    Passport = Checked
    Tickets = checked
    Vaccination records = checked
    Bullets in ziplock Bag= checked
    Prison clothes = checked

  35. Creditcrunch Diamond

    He will get a fine, slap on the wrist and put on a plane, if the family are the reason this story is in the media then more fool them! Unless of course there is more to this story and we are only getting drip fed details.

    1. Creditcrunch Diamond

      So he was found to have a full box of 20 rounds, was detained in police custody for just over a week then bailed and is currently living in an Airbnb awaiting his date in court. And 2 more incidents of American citizens brining in ammunition in the last month;

      https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-13354383/american-tourist-arrested-turks-caicos-arrest-ammo-luggage-cruise-ship.html

      https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-13349493/Oklahoma-aiport-hunting-bullets-ryan-watson-turks-caicos-jail.html

      So he was found to have a full box of 20 rounds, was detained in police custody for just over a week then bailed and is currently living in an Airbnb awaiting his date in court. And 2 more incidents of American citizens brining in ammunition in the last month;

      https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-13354383/american-tourist-arrested-turks-caicos-arrest-ammo-luggage-cruise-ship.html

      https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-13349493/Oklahoma-aiport-hunting-bullets-ryan-watson-turks-caicos-jail.html

    2. Creditcrunch Diamond

      His interview with the Daily Mail;

      https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-13355189/Turks-Caicos-Bryan-Hagerich-ammunition-hail.html

  36. Ralph4878 Member

    I cannot imagine that this guy thought going to a stunning beach paradise to T&C would result in something like this. But that's why the State Department has a website, folks...play stupid games, win stupid prizes. What's hilarious to me is all these Rightwingers screaming about boycotting T&C over this...where were they when Britney Griner was locked up in a cage for nearly a year? Right...

    1. Sel, D. Guest

      Right wingers don’t support drugs, in general. Weed is also illegal to fly with here. There’s no 420th amendment.

      BG KNOWINGLY possessed and used an illegal substance (this guy was just an idiot). Also, this guy isn’t a national security risk like BG because we’re not in a proxy war with T&C. We’re also not releasing a war criminal for her, when there are innocent Americans being held in Russia. She had black famous...

      Right wingers don’t support drugs, in general. Weed is also illegal to fly with here. There’s no 420th amendment.

      BG KNOWINGLY possessed and used an illegal substance (this guy was just an idiot). Also, this guy isn’t a national security risk like BG because we’re not in a proxy war with T&C. We’re also not releasing a war criminal for her, when there are innocent Americans being held in Russia. She had black famous gay privilege during the time of an administration corrupted by a toxic ideology.

  37. JetSetFly Guest

    I think chance of Americans bringing any component of a firearm to T&C will be zero going forward since this is all over the news. Well played T&C. Well played.

    1. STEFFL Diamond

      .... TV NEWS . . . :-o
      If this is the ONLY way a Nation will learn, OMG.
      That would be already a scare by itself!

  38. Wednesdaywednesday Guest

    I think my first thought would be , 'how did he get through American security with ammunition in his luggage /carry on?

    The fact he was leaving Turks with the ammunition is a sort of defence that he had no intention of using it there [ although there is now a lot of crime in Turks and Caicos due to illegal immigration from war torn islands , I was recently there and know this ] it would no doubt have been flagged up on arrival in USA ?

  39. Dave Guest

    The guy made an honest mistake - and a penalty and fine are appropriate. There is no threat whatsoever here, it's as harmless as people who return home from a country with forbidden seeds, plants, etc. And don't start with the "ammo can kill and seeds can't" nonsense. A few rounds of ammo without a weapon is no threat and there was obviously no intention to commit a crime here. They should know better, and...

    The guy made an honest mistake - and a penalty and fine are appropriate. There is no threat whatsoever here, it's as harmless as people who return home from a country with forbidden seeds, plants, etc. And don't start with the "ammo can kill and seeds can't" nonsense. A few rounds of ammo without a weapon is no threat and there was obviously no intention to commit a crime here. They should know better, and punishment is appropriate. Jail time is outrageous. Fine him, ban him from the country, and send him home to a country that actually honors his freedom to self defense.

    1. savabag Guest

      Ah yes freedom to self defence and to kill.

      A freedom created by a bunch of old guys in 1700s. The times have changed. So do you Dave

  40. Jackson Guest

    Yet the gangs in the TCI can you around shooting each other and never end up in jail

    1. Ole Guest

      Then don’t ho. T & C aren’t begging you to visit them.

  41. Never In Doubt Guest

    I leave my toiletry kit and my tech bag in my suitcase.

    If I was a gun nut, maybe I'd leave my ammo in there too.

  42. TravelinWilly Diamond

    Play stupid games, win stupid prizes.

    Lesson: The rest of the world doesn’t worship and fellate guns and ammo, it’s a USA thing. Leave your micropenis overcompensation at home when you go to another country.

    1. Biglaw V10 Partner Guest

      You’re a warm human full of empathy. What you say isn’t even funny or true. He’s got a wife and kids, so it’s probably him that’s Apple. You’re Microsoft.

    2. Ole Guest

      Should have that about them before making this “bonehead” move. Its on him.

    3. TravelinWilly Diamond

      “You’re a warm human full of empathy. What you say isn’t even funny or true. He’s got a wife and kids, so it’s probably him that’s Apple. You’re Microsoft.”

      Hi law school reject! :)

    4. Chris Guest

      As an American living abroad for the last 10 years, exactly this. American “gun culture” is a mental illness. Sure, right to defend yourself. I now prefer to live somewhere where there’s no NEED to defend myself. The rest of the world really views Americans as a weird bunch and stories like this just perpetuate that.

  43. KG Guest

    Nothing like calling an inherent right a "culture" in scarequotes.

    1. No Culture Guest

      An inherent right??? Excuse me that law was made in like 1700s lol you know what else was allowed in 1700s? Slavery??

      Your people are truly daft

    2. KG Guest

      Actually the right to bear arms goes back to the Assize of Arms in 1181. Daft is pontificating on topics you know nothing about.

  44. Charles Guest

    Would your views be different if he was being punished for being gay, in countries where that is outlawed? Would it that countries “prerogative”?

    1. Ben Schlappig OMAAT

      @ Charles -- The short answer is "no," I probably wouldn't feel different.

      First of all, many Middle Eastern countries operate under a system of unenforced laws. For example, in the UAE, same-sex intercourse and intercourse out of wedlock is illegal. That's despite the fact that you have millions of visitors to the UAE who are unmarried and staying in rooms together.

      In the case of the Turks & Caicos, there's no indication...

      @ Charles -- The short answer is "no," I probably wouldn't feel different.

      First of all, many Middle Eastern countries operate under a system of unenforced laws. For example, in the UAE, same-sex intercourse and intercourse out of wedlock is illegal. That's despite the fact that you have millions of visitors to the UAE who are unmarried and staying in rooms together.

      In the case of the Turks & Caicos, there's no indication that the laws are unenforced, and quite to the contrary, it seems that they're applied pretty evenly. Travelers have been warned.

      If a gay American traveled to Saudi Arabia and chose to have same-sex intercourse in the streets and was then arrested, I'd probably have a similar reaction. I would kind of feel bad, but would also say that it's on them for not having done their basic research.

  45. Scudder Diamond

    Not a dime of US tax dollars should not be spent on this fool. Let the NRA fund his defense if they want to.

    1. Biglaw V10 Partner Guest

      This man is a fellow Citizen and should be brought back to the states no matter what alleged crime he is said to have committed in a foreign country. Should punishment be due, it may be meted on our own territory, under our system. Centuries of diplomatic relations between nations basically converged on this practice as mutually beneficial for signatories to the Vienna Convention.

      A damn shame you, who is entitled to the presumption of...

      This man is a fellow Citizen and should be brought back to the states no matter what alleged crime he is said to have committed in a foreign country. Should punishment be due, it may be meted on our own territory, under our system. Centuries of diplomatic relations between nations basically converged on this practice as mutually beneficial for signatories to the Vienna Convention.

      A damn shame you, who is entitled to the presumption of innocence until proven otherwise in a US court of jurisprudence, aren’t willing to extend the entitlement to a fellow Citizen.

    2. Scudder Diamond

      Mr "Biglaw", you are as wrong as you are bombastic. The Vienna Convention protects diplomats and diplomatic missions. It has no relevance in this case.

    3. Biglaw V10 Partner Guest

      Big “the first amendment only applies to the government” energy. While technically true, the spirit is that we all respect free speech.

      Same with foreigners arrested. The spirit is to send them home.

      I’m not paid $8.5MM/year to be wrong.

    4. UA-NYC Diamond

      Maybe MAGA nation can donate their rapidly declining DJT stock to a GoFundMe to support him.

    5. Ben Guest

      The spirit can be anything, but he's in T&C custody.

      Unless you're sending in the marines to invade, what do you think the embassy can do exactly?

    6. Jim Lovejoy Guest

      Since you are wrong, how much are you being paid to be wrong?

    7. Ralph4878 Member

      @Biglaw V10 Partner - a US Citizen isn't entitled to anything under American law when committing violations under other nations' laws in other countries. That's not how legal systems operate, unless there's diplomatic work done to return an alleged criminal back to the States. That's not a "shame," it's how laws in other countries work.

    8. TravelinWilly Diamond

      @Ralph4878

      Be kind to Biglaw V10 reject.

      He’s not a lawyer. He dwells in his mom’s basement looking for respect, when all he’s doing is losing more dignity.

    9. Jason Wong Guest

      Well, Biglaw V10 Partner, you ought to know that this isn't part of the Vienna convention, it's the Treaty Transfer Program. An attorney would know that (or would look it up), so I suspect that you might be exaggerating your qualifications.

      https://www.bop.gov/inmates/custody_and_care/treaty_transfers.jsp

      http://www.justice.gov/criminal/oeo/iptu/lists.html

      That being said, I suspect that prison in the Turks and Caicos might be more pleasant than prison in the USA.

    10. JDee Diamond

      You sound like a family member

    11. tda1986 Diamond

      Dude, what? You can’t seriously be a lawyer (or a person with any modicum of common sense) and think that’s how this works.

    12. Vinay Guest

      I guarantee Scudder is sending cash to help bail out arrested pro-Hamas college students.

    13. Scudder Diamond

      Vinay— Nope. My philanthropy (about 10% of my AGI), along with 3-5 hours a week of volunteer time, is focused on the crisis of hunger in the world's largest economy—the US.

  46. AJR Guest

    Genuine question for other travelers…is it “normal” to pack a bag with things (from other trips?) still in the bag? No judgement if so but I, literally, start from scratch every single time I pack so it’s difficult for me to understand why I would have ANYTHING from a past trip unless I needed it and decided to repack it for the next trip.

    1. Scudder Diamond

      I do tend to leave a lot of travel-specific stuff in my luggage. (But that's really just my rollaboard, which I never use except when flying.)

    2. TravelinWilly Diamond

      If you travel a lot you never really fully unpack because it’s not worth the time to put away essentials on Thursday only to repack them on Sunday.

    3. Weymar Osborne Diamond

      I've definitely left a pocketknife in my backpack from a previous camping trip before. Of course, having being in the USA and under the TSA's purview I didn't realize this until I pulled it out of my bag sitting on the plane.

    4. Throwawayname Guest

      If I meticulously empty all the contents of my hand luggage, I will probably discover it contains one or two boarding passes from airlines that went bankrupt years ago. Cosmetics bag, toothbrush/comb, teabags, basic travel medicines, adaptors etc live permanently in the rollaboard and get individually replaced on an 'as needed' basis.

  47. jeffk Guest

    Well, unless he somehow gets a good lawyer and gets out of being prosecuted, he is facing a mandatory 12 year term. Frankly, I don't think the country really wants that bad publicity for obviously a mistake.....it was not like he was importing a crate of ammunition. Hope he gets to return to his family.

    1. Bob Guest

      The country could care less. They have plenty of other visitors. Wealthy ones at that. This isn't Mexico.
      They'd rather keep their citizens safe from American gun nut jobs.

    2. rp Guest

      Given that guns smuggled from the US are fueling the unruliness in Haiti, I can't really blame Turks and Caicos for their law.

      That said, there are other examples of people being arrested for the same crime there and only getting 6 months in jail or so.

      I would certainly never travel with guns or ammunition but if I did, I'd definitely be sure I knew the laws of the country I was traveling to...

      Given that guns smuggled from the US are fueling the unruliness in Haiti, I can't really blame Turks and Caicos for their law.

      That said, there are other examples of people being arrested for the same crime there and only getting 6 months in jail or so.

      I would certainly never travel with guns or ammunition but if I did, I'd definitely be sure I knew the laws of the country I was traveling to and I would ensure my guns/ammo were unpacked immediately when I return home.

    3. Guns lol Guest

      Yeah literally if all this press caused the gun freaks not to come, then I think it’s the best publicity because they’re not the richest or the sharpest tool in the shed

  48. Santastico Diamond

    A few thoughts:
    1) TSA is a total joke. If they were just a little bit competent, this guy would not be in this situation. Find when and where he went through TSA and get those guys all fired for not doing their jobs.
    2) While I have sympathy for him, this is what happens to many Americans that are not used to travel abroad. There is a feeling the US is the...

    A few thoughts:
    1) TSA is a total joke. If they were just a little bit competent, this guy would not be in this situation. Find when and where he went through TSA and get those guys all fired for not doing their jobs.
    2) While I have sympathy for him, this is what happens to many Americans that are not used to travel abroad. There is a feeling the US is the center of the world and everything runs around it. Sorry, it does not work like this. Not saying this guy was arrogant or anything like that but other countries have rules and if you don't like them, stay away.
    3) Although this is the law, it is a bit too much. Yes, it is a big deal if he had a loaded gun but a few rounds of ammunition left in his bag is not the same. What threat could he pose without a gun to use the ammunition? It shouldn't be the same penalty.

    1. Heather Barwick Guest

      So true regarding No. 2. A stupid American religious nutball named Katy Faust tried to campaign against gay marriage in Taiwan once. Little did she know she was violating the terms of her visa and got banned.

    2. Exit Row Seat Guest

      Another item of concern is RX prescriptions. I usually travel with a group of elderly folks. They want to keep their medication in their Weekly Pill Organizers (Sunday thru Saturday). I tell them that fine, but I want them to bring the RX bottle as well. I'll not going to jail because you were lazy, arrogant, or hard headed about bringing the bottle. Some of this is very serious pain management medication.
      I understand Singapore is the worse about any medications

    3. TravelinWilly Diamond

      “I understand Singapore is the worse about any medications”

      Middle East countries are far worse than Singapore or Mauritius, which are both very strict. Carrying the documentation is important.

    4. Points and Miles Doc Guest

      Absolutely true. I always look up banned medications when I travel. In some places, it’s as little as Tylenol, ambien, and some adhd medications.

      Please do the slightest bit of research and bring the RX or proper paperwork into a country if you want to bring in meds. And never bring in more than what your need - it can be seen as distributing.

      The fact this guy had a case of ammo is exactly that - can be seen as intent for distributing.

  49. Mon Guest

    The man needs to have his firearm license revoked. Broke federal law by flying with ammo and broke foreign laws as well. Mistake? Maybe. But there should be zero tolerance when it comes to firearms. He is a disgrace to responsible gun owners.

    1. Jeff Guest

      Abbott will probably throw him a parade when he returns home.

    2. Mark Christopher Guest

      Abbott who? The gov of TX? The person in question is from OK.

    3. Bob Guest

      Good on T&C for enforcement of the law.
      Should be a nice fine to collect

    4. Jackson Guest

      His state doesn't require a licence so it wouldn't matter silly

  50. Matt Guest

    Very little sympathy. Seems like a sensible law and deterrent to try and keep guns away.

    1. Biglaw V10 Partner Guest

      Your “very little sympathy,” which was probably not a conclusion of your own volition, but instead a position you hold due to influence from your peers, is exactly why the US has the highest prison population in the world. We’re an unkind society with a hair trigger tolerance for posting on the internet that an innocent man we’ve never met or known should be locked up for over a decade.

      Shame on you.

    2. Jim Lovejoy Guest

      He's guilty. He admitted that he violated their laws.
      Are their laws overly harsh for accidental violations? Probably, but that's their choice.

    3. ConcordeBoy Diamond

      "probably not a conclusion of your own volition"

      Assumption not corroborated by available relevant evidence.

      "but instead a position you hold due to influence from your peers"

      Conclusory statement.

      "US has the highest prison population in the world"

      Probative value for incident in Turks & Caicos?

      "an innocent man"

      Conclusory statement, yet to be determined as a matter of law or fact.

      ........................and you're an alleged "Big Law partner," eh? Hmmm.

    4. JDee Diamond

      How is this guy innocent? You read the articale, I preseume, he was caught with ammunition in his bag & the mandated penalty on Turks & Caicos is 12 years gaol. Also, your comment about the US having the highest prison population in the world is irrelevant given he isn't in the US & if gaoled will spend his time in a Turks & Caicos prison

  51. Tim Dunn Diamond

    The biggest takeaway is DO NOT use your hunting bags for travel by air. Not only are they likely to fail a security swab if that happens but it is too easy to leave something in them that shouldn't be there.

    If all he had was FOUR shells, that is clearly a mistake. He clearly recognizes that HE made a mistake and is not trying to blame anyone.

    The US will undoubtedly intervene and work to get his sentence reduced - and will probably succeed.

    1. JP Guest

      The best comment here. I just wish everyone could think like you for this time.

  52. Davisson Guest

    He isn’t gonna get 12 years, just pay monies to their senate members and get an US official to plea. He’ll be released under the cover.

    Also TSA is a joke. I got more scrutiny outside of the US during my travels. Especially with pre check, they just doesn’t seem to care. I can let liquids and aerosols in all day.

  53. dweins Member

    If the ammo was in his carry-on leaving Tuks and Caicos, then it's reasonable to assume it was in there when he flew there. Guess the TSA missed it.

    1. [email protected] Guest

      Throw this maga hillbilly in jail. Just one more maga who thinks that rules and laws don’t apply to him. Pathetic. Pathetic.

  54. Go figure Guest

    A man from Oklahoma was caught with ammunition..... say no more.....

Featured Comments Most helpful comments ( as chosen by the OMAAT community ).

The comments on this page have not been provided, reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any advertiser, and it is not an advertiser's responsibility to ensure posts and/or questions are answered.

Charlton Guest

Its so odd that bullets and guns are so casually and irresponsibly handled by Americans. I come from a country where we can own guns, but we are vetted, well trained, and also conscious of its location at all times. If you want to own a gun, you should always be aware of where it, and its ammo are. People that get caught with guns and ammo at airports should have their right to bear arms revoked. How is that controversial for so many in the U.S.?

10
Ben Schlappig OMAAT

@ Charles -- The short answer is "no," I probably wouldn't feel different. First of all, many Middle Eastern countries operate under a system of unenforced laws. For example, in the UAE, same-sex intercourse and intercourse out of wedlock is illegal. That's despite the fact that you have millions of visitors to the UAE who are unmarried and staying in rooms together. In the case of the Turks & Caicos, there's no indication that the laws are unenforced, and quite to the contrary, it seems that they're applied pretty evenly. Travelers have been warned. If a gay American traveled to Saudi Arabia and chose to have same-sex intercourse in the streets and was then arrested, I'd probably have a similar reaction. I would kind of feel bad, but would also say that it's on them for not having done their basic research.

7
TravelinWilly Diamond

Play stupid games, win stupid prizes. Lesson: The rest of the world doesn’t worship and fellate guns and ammo, it’s a USA thing. Leave your micropenis overcompensation at home when you go to another country.

6
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