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Americans keep getting arrested on a Caribbean island after forgetting they've left bullets from home in their luggage

Pete Syme   

Americans keep getting arrested on a Caribbean island after forgetting they've left bullets from home in their luggage
  • A fifth American tourist was arrested in Turks and Caicos for possessing ammunition.
  • Two have already pleaded guilty, and others have said they forgot they had the bullets in their bags.

A fifth American tourist has been arrested on suspicion of possession of ammunition in a small Caribbean territory, CBS News reported.

The Royal Turks and Caicos Police told CBS the unnamed person was arrested at the airport on Monday, "after ammunition was allegedly found during a routine security check."

Such arrests have been making local headlines in Turks and Caicos, a British Overseas Territory with a population of around 50,000. Breaking its strict laws about possessing a firearm or ammunition carries a minimum prison sentence of 12 years.

After four other Americans were arrested on charges of possessing ammunition, the Turks and Caicos government issued a press release in April saying a the judge could impose a shorter custodial sentence in "exceptional circumstances."

The rise in such incidents also prompted the US State Department to issue a travel advisory urging visitors "to carefully check their luggage for stray ammunition or forgotten weapons."

The four men have said that they brought the ammunition into Turks and Caicos by accident.

72-year-old Michael Evans was arrested in December, and last month pleaded guilty to the possession of seven rounds of 9mm ammunition. He is due to be sentenced on June 18.

Bryan Hagerich was arrested in February. He pleaded guilty to possessing 20 rifle rounds.

The other two men were arrested in April. Ryan Watson, 40, was arrested after ammunition was found in his luggage at the airport.

He told NBC Boston that the bullets were unknowingly left in a duffel bag from a deer hunting trip, and weren't detected by airport security in the US.

Days after Watson's arrest, 31-year-old Tyler Wenrich was detained as he tried to reboard a cruise ship.

He told NBC Boston that he'd used the same bag to carry his firearm to a shooting range. "I checked it before I left, and it was just a complete oversight on me, TSA, and the port security. You know, three groups missed that ammunition," Wenrich said.

"It's hard to believe that it's happening. And it's definitely a nightmare," he added.




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