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Virginia man returns home after detainment in Turks and Caicos for ammo in his luggage

todayMay 30, 2024 4

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A Virginia man arrived at the Richmond airport on Thursday after he was released from custody on the Turks and Caicos Islands (TCI), where he had been detained for having ammunition in his luggage.Tyler Wenrich – a 31-year-old husband and father – is one of five Americans arrested and detained on the islands since February for having stray ammunition in their luggage, a crime punishable for up to 12 years on the islands.The other detained Americans are Ryan Watson, 40, of Oklahoma; Sharitta Grier, 45, of Florida; Bryan Hagerich, 39, of Pennsylvania; and Michael Lee Evans, 72, of Texas.PENNSYLVANIA MAN RETURNS HOME AFTER DETAINMENT IN TURKS AND CAICOS FOR AMMO IN HIS LUGGAGEWenrich was greeted by applause as he touched down at Richmond International Airport after spending three weeks in jail and paying $9,000 in fines for unknowingly possessing ammunition in his luggage while visiting the island nation.”It feels good to be back with my wife and my kid,” Wenrich told reporters after embracing gleeful friends and family. “I’m just exhausted and honestly happy to be back.”Wenrich said that his imprisonment and eventual release back to the U.S. was a “roller coaster,” thanking his friends, family and elected officials.PENNSYLVANIA DAD DETAINED IN TURKS AND CAICOS TO RETURN HOME AFTER PAYING FINE FOR HAVING AMMO IN LUGGAGE”It’s been a roller coaster, and I’m thankful for friends, family and representatives involved in trying to get us back,” he said. “Rep. Bob Good and Chris Snyder have been fantastic, as well as a lot of the other representatives in trying to get us back home. We appreciate it.”The 31-year-old said that it was “going to be amazing” to get to hold his toddler son again.”It’s going to be amazing, just to hold him in my arms again,” Wenrich said. “I didn’t know if it was going to happen again.”He said that the past three weeks, since his imprisonment in the TCI, have been filled with “anxiety” and “excitement.””It’s been a lot of anxiety and a lot of excitement to see family again,” he told reporters.Wenrich was initially arrested on April 20 following a wedding party in Turks and Caicos and pleaded guilty in court on Monday, when both prosecutors and his defense team presented oral arguments, he told Fox News Digital.Wenrich had traveled from Virginia to Florida, where he boarded a Royal Caribbean cruise ship and then docked in Turks and Caicos. Cruise ship security found two stray bullets in his bag when he was about to board the ship to go back home.VIRGINIA MAN DETAINED IN TURKS AND CAICOS RECALLS MOMENT HE KNEW ‘THINGS WERE GOING SIDEWAYS'”It’s a backpack… that I hadn’t used in a while, but I had used it previously for carrying supplies in my car and going to the shooting range. So I pulled it out for this trip, checked it, went through TSA security, went through port security in Miami. It was about a day and a half sail to Grand Turk, and then we spent a day here,” Wenrich previously told Fox News Digital. “So it was about 8 to 9 hours that we spent on the island. And then when I was boarding the ship, the Royal Caribbean cruise ship, they scanned the bag, found one bullet, scanned the bag again, found the second bullet.” Cruise ship authorities then sent Wenrich to local police, which is the moment he “knew things were going sideways.”The other Americans arrested in Turks for having stray ammo, including Sharitta Grier of Florida, Ryan Watson of Oklahoma and Michael Lee Evans of Texas, were arrested at airports on the islands.”Everybody else has been at the airport, so that’s a lot different than their cases,” Wenrich said of his own case. “But as far as the charge goes, it’s very similar. We were actually able to meet with them in person last week and go to lunch and kind of talk about those things, as well. But we keep in daily communication with each other.”AMERICANS ARRESTED IN TURKS AND CAICOS FACE 12 YEARS IN PRISON OVER ‘INNOCENT MISTAKE’: ‘NEVER DAWNED ON US’Wenrich said the support he and his family have received from both friends and locals back home, as well as from the other Americans in Turks and Caicos, has been “phenomenal.”Govs. Youngkin, Sitt and Shapiro sent a letter to Turks and Caicos Gov. Dileeni Daniel-Selvaratnam to urge the release of Watson, Hagerich and Wenrich.TURKS AND CAICOS COURT HEARING FOR AMERICAN ARRESTED WITH AMMO IN BAG COULD SET NEW PRECEDENT”Like thousands of Americans each year, these individuals traveled to your beautiful territory recently for leisure,” the governors wrote in a joint letter shared with Fox News Digital. “They have all maintained that they did not intend to bring ammunition into Turks and Caicos, and any ammunition unknowingly left in their luggage was the result of lawful conduct in the United States. We understand that none of them were carrying firearms.”Various members of Congress have spoken publicly about the issue of Americans being detained in Turks and Caicos over ammunition possession. A congressional delegation met with TCI government leaders earlier this month to discuss the potential release of Americans detained over the ammunition ordinance, to no avail.”The U.S. delegation raised five cases of US nationals currently before the courts, concern for their well-being and clarification on the legal process,” the TCI Governor’s Office said in a May 13 statement. “In order to maintain the integrity of the legal process, the Governor confirmed it would not be appropriate to facilitate the delegation’s request to meet with the Chief Justice.”The governor and the premier also said “they cannot intervene nor comment on ongoing legal cases before the courts,” the statement continued. “They explained that the Turks and Caicos Islands have clear laws prohibiting the possession of firearms and/or ammunition and strict penalties are in place to serve and protect all who reside and visit the Turks and Caicos Islands.”Fox News Digital’s Audrey Conklin contributed to this report.

Written by: Badlands Classic Rock

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