Home News Man sentenced to time served, fine for ammo in Turks & Caicos

Man sentenced to time served, fine for ammo in Turks & Caicos

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By Alisha Ebrahimji and Sahar Akbarzai | CNN

American Tyler Wenrich was sentenced to three weeks in jail and fined Tuesday after he had pleaded guilty earlier this month to possession of ammunition while traveling to Turks and Caicos.

The Virginia resident was fined $9,000, Kimo Tynes, the director of communications for the Government of the Turks and Caicos Islands, said in a news statement. Since he had already served three weeks in jail, the court recognized it as time served so his prison sentence is complete, the release said.

The 31-year-old American faced as much as a 12-year prison sentence. But the Hon. Justice Davidson Baptiste cited exceptional circumstances in Wenrich’s case and said, “Enforcing the mandatory minimum would have been arbitrary and disproportionate, and would not serve the public interest.”

Another American charged with possession of ammunition, Ryan Tyler Watson, pleaded guilty Tuesday, according to Tynes. Watson’s sentencing is scheduled for June 21.

In recent months, all were arrested and accused of bringing in various amounts of ammunition to the 40-island chain southeast of the Bahamas.

Bringing firearms or ammunition into Turks and Caicos without prior permission from police is “strictly forbidden,” according to a statement from its government.

In the Turks and Caicos, possession of firearms or ammunition carries a minimum 12-year sentence, though the law allows reduced sentences under “exceptional circumstances.”

Even though the territory doesn’t manufacture firearms or ammunition, the number of firearms finding their way to the islands has increased, Misick said. Meanwhile, the United States has more guns than people.

On Friday, American Bryan Hagerich of Pennsylvania pleaded guilty and received a 52-week sentence suspended for one year and a $6,700 fine, his representatives said. He returned to the United States after paying the fine.

In addition to Hagerich and Wenrich, one other American – Michael Lee Evans – pleaded guilty to possession of ammunition while traveling in Turks and Caicos, according to the territory’s government.



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