Tyler Wenrich, Royal Turks and Caicos Islands Police Force Photo
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For those who are keeping track, three of the five Americans being held in Turks and Caicos for accidentally having stray ammo in their bags, have now been released with hefty fines and time served. Last week, Tyler Wenrich, a 31-year-old emergency medical technician from Louisa County, Virginia, returned home the same day it was being reported that an Oklahoma man, Ryan Watson, who was found to have five rounds of hunting ammunition in his bag, was pleading guilty of that possession and hoping for the same outcome.

ABC News reports Wenrich was initially arrested on April 20 after customs authorities at a security checkpoint discovered two 9mm bullets in his backpack. He had traveled to Grand Turk for a bachelor party and said he had forgotten about the ammunition after a trip to a gun range with friends. Under the strict gun laws of Turks and Caicos, possessing a firearm or ammunition can result in a mandatory minimum sentence of 12 years in prison.

Wenrich’s case, however, resulted in a more lenient sentence. After pleading guilty on May 21 to two counts of possession of ammunition, he was sentenced to three weeks in jail and fined $9,000. Since he had already spent three weeks in custody, his sentence was considered time served, allowing him to return home once the fine was paid. He

The court’s decision was influenced by what Justice Davidson Baptiste described as “exceptional circumstances.” The judge noted that enforcing the mandatory minimum would have been “arbitrary and disproportionate” and would not serve the public interest. Kimo Tynes, director of communications for the Government of the Turks and Caicos Islands, emphasized the importance of vigilance and adherence to local regulations by all visitors.

Wenrich’s wife, Jeriann, expressed their relief and happiness following the sentencing.

“We ended up having to be at immigration for a while because the cruise line didn’t stamp Tyler’s passport, but we are so happy and so elated that we can actually go home now,” she said. Wenrich himself shared his relief, stating, “A weight has been lifted off my shoulders.”

The Wenrichs’ ordeal is part of a broader trend of similar arrests in the Turks and Caicos Islands. In recent months, five Americans have been charged under the firearms ordinance for having small amounts of ammunition in their luggage. Notably, Bryan Hagerich of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, was sentenced to a suspended 52-week sentence and fined $6,700.

With the fine paid and the legal hurdles cleared, the Wenrichs flew back to Virginia on Thursday, where Tyler was eagerly looking forward to reuniting with his 18-month-old son, from whom he had been separated for six weeks .

This case underscores two key points:

  1. Whenever traveling, make double sure your bag does not have any firearms or ammunition in them if traveling somewhere this will create a legal problem. As a best practice, for bags you use when flying or traveling to states with more stringent gun laws, never use them in conjunction with shooting or hunting locally. Always have a bag you never put firearms or ammunition in and use that one when traveling.
  2. If you planned on going to Turks and Caicos, screw them. Change your plans and stay away from that island country. While we should all respect the laws of other lands, such stringent treatment of people who clearly made an honest mistake, is disconcerting. Our American dollars are best spent elsewhere. Let the island return to the crappy banana republic from whence it came. (While we’re blackballing places to go, stay out of New Jersey, Illinois, New York and California, too. They are as bad as Turks and Caicos and have crappier beaches.)

The Virginia Citizens Defense League hopes to have Wenrich speak at a future event to discuss his ordeal.

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      They want to rape Americans over BS, they need our Dollars far more than we need them..

      Keep in mind, they did not catch these guys on the way IN, they caught them on the way OUT, meaning that at least two sets of bag checkers with Xray missed it.

      • Missed it or might something have been planted? In any case, in plain English, this island is a place to stay away from.

    • I have an even better suggestion. Don’t go to a foreign country and several states in the United States with firearms or ammo they consider illegal in your possession. The consequences will be the same. You do jail time and pay a big fine. Plus lawyer fees.

  1. I traveled to Dollar General this morning.
    Jimmy Dean Sausages, 1lb of Coffee, ten pack of paper towels. That’s the end of my traveling.
    God Bless you President Biden, bidonomics keeps me safe.

  2. I see how it can happen. I got all the way to where you take your shoes off at the airport before realizing I had a .38 in my pocket. Had to go back to the truck in a hurry, and it won’t happen again.

    • The last time I was at the Kansas City airport the security was checking cars at the gate. Me and the then family had been out shooting and when we got back to her place her horse had got out, after rounding it up we’d forget all about the gunms in the trunk.
      Lucky for us a woman had cops and security all over her car so we hid the gunms under some ballbats, gloves and other baseball stuff the kids had.
      I remember going through Denver airport back in the 80’s, shit wasn’t nothing, I had a hunting knife on my belt and on the return trip slid two 1lb packages of white powder(shotgunm buffer) through the checker. No problems.
      9-11 sure changed things.

  3. “The judge noted that enforcing the mandatory minimum would have been “arbitrary and disproportionate” and would not serve the public interest.”

    Ya think?

    At this point, I’m inclined to simply remove the T&C from any future travel plans, they are free to have any bullshit laws they want, I’m free not to travel there and spend my money…

    • Just an FYI: When it comes to guns, most of the world is worse, actually.

      The places that aren’t, well, they’re mostly not really vacation destinations.

      Though, if you want to play with actual firepower, some cash in several areas of Africa will get you a hootnanny of a good time.

      You might want to keep some spare mags for the AK and a pistol until you know for sure you can unass the country though.

  4. My ex always liked to go to the Bahamas because they had casinos. I don’t really enjoy casinos, but I did enjoy the fishing and diving. Don’t go to any of those places. Go to the Keys. You can fish and dive the same water. And most people can carry a handgun while they go about their business. Even out of state tourists. Besides, if you do like casinos they’re not hard to find in South Florida today.

    • If you seriously think that diving in Florida rivals Saba, you’re off your rocker.

      And Saba really ain’t that great if you’ve been to places with truly good diving.

      • strych9, most of my diving was body/evidence recovery. Sucked the fun right out of it before I really got to enjoy the sport side of it. The reason I gave up diving.

        • I started in Rescue.

          Sometimes you get profound thanks, sometimes you get tears and screamed at. You always give briefings you wish you didn’t have to and if you actually “go to work” that day there’s a mountain of paperwork. It’s never really fun.

          Somehow it never affected me.

    • The rest of them will put you in jail also if you show up with a firearm or ammo in your luggage. Including Hawaii.

    • For no reason my post was moderated yesterday and today. If they cannot Protect Free Speech then they cannot Protect The Second Amendment.

      • Moderation is good.
        It brings us to the reality of the control of our government.
        Every step you take
        Every move you make
        I’ll be watching you.

        • The French version doesn’t end well.

          Come to think of it, several French versions don’t end well.

          Neither do the Dutch, German, Belgian or British versions.


  5. The fact is there are Gun Control zealots in the biden administration who would get off on seeing every Gun owner arrested, prosecuted and sentenced to hard labor.
    It would be little difference than what johnny boy’s kkk relatives did not so long ago to Blacks caught with a firearm. Like the third reich twisted around Jim Crow Gun Control and applied it to Jews so did the T&C Gun Control filth to target dumbbells who should have stayed home.

    TRUMP 2024.

  6. And check your bags before you pack. That five minutes can save you a prison term and thousands in fines. How can any be so busy as to not have a few minutes to check a bag?

  7. How many times have people to foreign lands ran afoul of arbitrary laws? The stories never cease. Add this nation to the growing list of where Americans should not go. Let the backwater suffer and die without our travel dollars.

  8. The place might be described in tourist literature a# a “tropical paradise”. Be that as it may, it appears that the facts are otherwise, as the place appears to be a money grabbing scam operated with the knowledge and blessing of the government there. That said, the seeming lack of the most prominent possible warning by the U.S. Government regarding the situation existing there does not speak at all well for the U.S. Government. Matter of fact, it speaks most poorly for the U.S. Government. Travel Agencies that fail to publicize the existing situation do a serious disservice to their clients too.

  9. Hunter’s revolver is a new 2″ Colt with the pre-dropped/bent trigger guard. First one I’ve seen with short barrel. Very nice for a new gun.

  10. These problems are totally on the goobers who didn’t think. Regardless of how special and entitled one is, thinking and acting according to reality is still required. In today’s world “accidents” are for children, not adults.


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