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US tourist faces 12 years’ jail for accidentally bringing ammo to the Caribbean

An American man is facing up to 12 years in prison in Turks and Caicos after customs officials at Providenciales International Airport (PLS) found ammunition in his luggage.

Ryan Tyler Watson (40), of Oklahoma, flew to the British Overseas Territory with his wife on April 7, 2024, celebrating his birthday.

Airport officials found the ammunition in Watson’s carry-on luggage, contained inside a ziplock bag. Watson claimed that he was not aware of having brought ammunition with him from a previous hunting trip and that it was entirely accidental. 

Although this appears to have been an honest mistake, lawmakers in Turks and Caicos had already passed a bill creating a 12-year minimum prison sentence for anyone caught bringing a firearm or ammunition to the islands.

“They were hunting ammunition rounds that I use for whitetail deer,” Watson said in an interview with NBC Boston

“I recognized them, and I thought, ‘Oh, man, what a bonehead mistake that I had no idea that those were in there’,” Watson said.

Watson’s wife, Valerie, was allowed to return to the US and is now reunited with their children. 

However, Watson himself remains in Turks and Caicos and has been charged with one count of possession of ammunition. 

According to the Royal Turks and Caicos Islands Police Force, Watson appeared in the Supreme Court on April 23, 2024.

Although Watson was granted $15,000 bail, he still cannot travel out of Turks and Caicos Islands without the court’s permission. He has also been required to surrender his passport and other travel documents to the court, and report to Grace Bay Police Station between the hours of 0800-1600 local time on Tuesdays and Thursdays. 

Watson has been given an address in Providenciales where he can stay. 

The post US tourist faces 12 years’ jail for accidentally bringing ammo to the Caribbean appeared first on AeroTime.

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