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Government Confirms Four US Nationals Before the Courts Facing Ammunition Charges

The Turks and Caicos Islands Government has confirmed that four US Nationals are before the courts facing ammunition charges. Noting that it could not comment on ongoing court cases, the TCI Government said it behooves it to make a public statement on the matter.

 

The following is a government news release on those charged:

 

The Turks and Caicos Islands Government cannot comment on ongoing legal cases before the courts but confirms the following four (4) US nationals have been charged for possession of ammunition offences against the Firearms Ordinance (as amended).


MICHAEL LEE EVANS, 72, of Texas, pled guilty to possession of seven (7) 9mm rounds of ammunition. Appeared before the court on Wednesday, 24th April 2024, via video conference link. Currently on bail, with sentencing hearing adjourned to June 18th, 2024.

 

BRYAN HAGERICH, Pennsylvania, pled guilty to possession of twenty rounds of ammunition  (rifle rounds). Currently on bail. Scheduled to reappear in court on May 3rd, 2024.

 

TYLER SCOTT WENRICH, 31, of Virginia, is currently remanded at the Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (Grand Turk). He is charged with possession of two (2) 9mm rounds. He has not applied for bail.

 

RYAN TYLER WATSON, 40, of Oklahoma, currently on bail, charged with possession of four (4) rounds of ammunition. Appeared in court on April 24th, 2024. The matter was adjourned to June 7th, 2024

 

Persons in the Turks and Caicos Islands do not have a constitutional right to carry firearms. The Turks and Caicos Islands welcomes all visitors but reminds travellers that the importation of firearms, ammunition (including stray bullets), and other weapons is strictly forbidden unless licence to do so has been issued by the Commissioner of Police.


 The Turks and Caicos Islands have clear laws against the possession of firearms and or ammunition and strict penalties in order to serve and protect the community.


 Firearm and or ammunition offences carry a mandatory minimum custodial sentence of twelve years plus a fine. An Attorney General’s Reference to the Court of Appeal certified that where a court finds there are exceptional circumstances, the sentencing judge has discretion to impose a custodial sentence (less than the twelve years) and a fine that are fair and just in the circumstances of each case.


 The Turks and Caicos Islands is a British Overseas Territory with a common law legal system.


 Travellers are strongly advised to search their luggage before they travel to the Turks and Caicos Islands to ensure they do not bring in forbidden items inadvertently. The Turks and Caicos Islands reserves the right to enforce its legislation and all visitors must follow its law enforcement procedures.


The Transportation Security Administration screening in the United States may not identify ammunition in a traveller’s baggage; it is the traveller’s responsibility to ensure their baggage is free of ammunition and/or firearms. Permission from an airline carrier does not constitute permission to bring firearms or ammunition into the Turks and Caicos Islands and will result in arrest.

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