‘Nightmare’: US dad stunned as he faces 12-year sentence for accidentally taking ammo to Turks and Caicos

A Virginia dad who forgot he had ammunition in his baggage whereas happening a cruise says it’s a dwelling “nightmare” to be dealing with a minimal 12-year sentence in a Turks and Caicos jail.

Tyler Wenrich, a 31-year-old paramedic, has been on Grand Turk Island since his arrest over two weeks in the past after two 9mm rounds had been detected in his bag at a safety checkpoint as he returned to the Royal Caribbean Cruise ship following a seashore tour.

“I can almost not wrap my head around it still, and I’m living in it,” he instructed NBC10 Boston from the island he will not be allowed to go away, preserving him from his spouse and 1-year-old son.

“It’s hard to believe that it’s happening — and it’s definitely a nightmare.”

Tyler Wenrich in his mugshot.
Tyler Wenrich in his mugshot. Turks and Caicos police division

Wenrich referred to as it an trustworthy mistake, saying he had the ammo in his bag from prior searching journeys.

“I checked it before I left, and it was just a complete oversight on me, TSA, and the port security,” he mentioned of how he was in a position to carry it earlier than it was lastly detected. “Three groups missed that ammunition.”

The crime used to solely lead to a small high quality. However, Turks and Caicos lawmakers mandated a 12-year minimal sentence in 2022.

Wenrich posted bail final week and is at present caught on the island, dwelling along with his father as the case strikes by way of the courts.

“I spent about three nights in the jail and then I moved to the prison for about nine nights. It was extremely difficult,” Wenrich mentioned.

“It’s definitely the hardest thing I’ve ever had to go through.”

Royal Caribbean has not commented on the incident.

Werich is the newest of a number of Americans arrested for this offense in latest weeks who’re caught on the island whereas awaiting sentencing.

Bryan Hagerich, a 39-year-old Pennsylvania father of two, appeared in court docket in Turks and Caicos on Friday, when a choose mentioned he should keep on the islands for one other three weeks till his sentencing, wheret he will study if he should serve the minimal sentence of 12 years or if his case may be adjudicated.

Oklahoma father-of-two Ryan Watson, 40, of Ohlahoma, was charged with having ammo in his bag on April 12, and additionally stays on the island.

Another US citizen, Michael Lee Evans, 72, pleaded responsible to having ammunition in his bag on April 24, in accordance to native information outlet the Turks & Caicos Sun. His sentencing listening to is scheduled for June 18.

An further 4 Americans who had been detained over the firearm/ammo legislation because it was enacted final 12 months have additionally had their circumstances adjudicated and as an alternative had been ordered to pay fines. One American acquired an eight-month jail sentence.

The TSA requires ammunition to be in a safe case in checked baggage, however Turks and Caicos legal guidelines are totally different.

The U.S. Embassy in Nassau at present has a journey alert that states “[f]irearms, ammunition (including stray bullets), and other weapons are not permitted in the Turks and Caicos Islands (TCI),” including that “TCI authorities strictly enforce all firearms-and-ammunition-related laws.”

“The penalty for traveling to TCI with a firearm, ammunition, or other weapon can result in a minimum custodial sentence of twelve (12) years,” the embassy states within the alert. “If you bring a firearm or ammunition into TCI, even inadvertently, we will not be able to secure your release from custody. You are subject to TCI laws and must follow local law enforcement procedures.”

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