Another American arrested in Turks and Caicos over ammo receives time served and is on his way home
· May 29, 2024 ·

This is the fourth American we've reported on in the past two months who's been arrested in Turks and Caicos over ridiculously insignificant amounts of ammo.

  • First, there was Ryan Watson, a husband and father of two who is facing 12 years in a Turks and Caicos prison for ammo found in his bag from a previous hunting trip.
  • Next was Bryan Hagerich - another American husband and father who forgot to check and clean out his bag before going on vacation to Turks and Caicos. 20 rounds of ammo were found in his luggage; he was sentenced to a suspended 52-week sentence with a fine of $6,700.
  • There was also Sharitta Grier, a Florida grandmother facing 12 years in prison over two bullets in her carry-on. She was detained and spent a few nights in jail, chained to a chair.

Now, there's Tyler Wenrich, a 31-year-old American EMT from Virginia who was arrested in the Turks and Caicos Islands for carrying two 9mm rounds in his backpack while boarding a cruise ship.

Facing a potential whopping 12-year prison sentence, Wenrich was sentenced on Tuesday to time served and a $9,000 fine.

Wenrich had already spent three terrible weeks in jail (he noted that backwater Caribbean jails are not pleasant), which covered his sentence.

After pleading guilty last week, Wenrich left court with his wife, expressing relief that his ordeal was finally coming to an end.

A weight has been lifted off my shoulders and my wife's, and I'm glad that I get to go home and be with my son again.

The conditions were rough.


I don't know how other prisons are, but it was emotional not knowing where this was going to go, you know, just trying to get through each day.

The judge announced the sentence on an emotional Tuesday morning during his hearing. According to the government's statement, Justice Davidson Baptiste found exceptional circumstances in the case, which is why he didn't impose the mandatory minimum sentence.

Wenrich is now planning to fly back home this Thursday.

It's up and down cause he goes through everything.

You don't know if it's going one way or the other as he's reading through everything, so tearing up every time I heard '18-month-old son,' and now I'm just relieved at the outcome.

Apparently, a fifth American, Michael Lee Evans, was also recently charged in Turks and Caicos but was allowed to return home for medical reasons.

All of this is happening after the new island law that imposes mandatory prison time, even for tourists caught with firearms or ammunition, in addition to fines.

It will be interesting to see how these high-profile cases involving loving moms and dads on vacation will affect the island nation's tourism industry, which is its lifeblood.

Turks and Caicos might have really shot themselves in the foot on this one.

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