One of the U.S. tourists facing 12 years in prison for stray ammo has been released
· May 24, 2024 ·

Just recently, we ran the story of Ryan Watson who was arrested in Turks and Caicos for having some stray ammo in his bag while traveling.

Unfortunately, this story is not about him.

It's about Bryan Hagerich, another American tourist facing the same charges, who was just released on similar charges and might offer some hope for Watson.

Hagerich was arrested in February for having 20 rounds of ammunition in his luggage while on vacation with his wife and children, and he pleaded guilty to the charges, as it was an accident.

At his sentencing, the nation's Supreme Court on the island of Providenciales, Judge Tanya Lobban Jackson sentenced him to '52 weeks but 12 months suspended,' meaning he will not serve any time in jail.

Jackson said she found exceptional circumstances for Hagerich, and cited that he unintentionally brought the ammunition to the island, the impact that his arrest has had on his daughter and that he has no criminal background.

Obviously, the Hagerich family was very emotional after beating a 12-year rap for not double checking their bags.

'Can't wait to get home — I have two kids that just can't wait to jump into our arms,' he said while holding hands with his wife.

'This is what we've been waiting for for the last 101 days and to experience this here — in eight short hours to be home and hug my kids — it's the best day,' Hagerich said.

But there are still four other American tourists facing the ammunition charges, including Sharitta Grier, a Florida grandmother who had two bullets in her carryon and of course Ryan Watson.

'I pray that I get the same opportunity to go home,' [Watson] told NBC News, adding that when he heard the judge's decision in court he thought, 'I'm one step closer to maybe seeing my kiddos.'

'I know that our cases are similar but they're not exactly the same, so that doesn't guarantee my fate,' he said. 'So I just, you know, I just pray that I get to go home soon.'

Senator John Fetterman met with all the detainees on the island and has been working to secure their release.

He was elated to hear the news about Bryan Hagerich.

'When we met with TCI officials a few days ago, they made clear that they wanted this situation resolved,' Fetterman said in a statement. 'They recognized that Bryan and the other detained Americans are not gunrunners — they are just people who made a mistake. I'm grateful that the judge recognized that the right thing to do was to send Bryan home.'

The fight's not over for the other detainees though, so keep them in your prayers.

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