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Tags: turks and caicos | firearms | ammunition | americans

American Receives Fine in Turks and Caicos Ammo Case

By    |   Friday, 24 May 2024 04:48 PM EDT

The first of five Americans who were charged with possession of ammunition in the Turks and Caicos Islands received a suspended 52-week sentence and a $6,700 fine despite the efforts of a congressional delegation to have the charges dropped.

On Friday, Bryan Hagerich, 39, of Pennsylvania, got a 52-week sentence that was suspended for one year, which means he will not be immediately incarcerated, Hagerich's attorney Oliver Smith told CNN.

The Turks and Caicos government said Hagerich pleaded guilty to the charge.

The father of two will be allowed to leave the British Overseas Territory and return to the United States after he pays the fine, Smith said. He will have to serve the full 12-month sentence if the fine goes unpaid.

The fine is expected to be paid on Friday, the attorney told CNN.

"He's pleased, he's relieved," Smith said of his client. "The sentence, in all its circumstances, is reasonable and fair. And he's relieved and looking forward to pay the fine and to return home as soon as possible."

In the archipelago nation, possession of firearms or ammunition is punishable by a minimum 12-year prison sentence, although the law does allow reduced sentences in "exceptional circumstances," the local governor said.

Turks and Caicos Premier Washington Misick said justice "has been served as the law intended" after Hagerich's sentencing.

"As we have said, The Firearms Act includes consideration for exceptional circumstances and today's decision reflects our commitment to judicial independence along with upholding the law," Misick said, according to CNN. "Residents and visitors can be confident that the Turks and Caicos Islands are dedicated to safety and compassion as we protect the safety and rights of all."

A congressional delegation traveled to the islands this week in an attempt to get the charges dropped for the five Americans who "inadvertently" traveled to the Turks and Caicos with ammunition in their luggage.

Hagerich's sentence was handed down after the U.S. lawmakers expressed disappointment over the failure of their trip.

"Unfortunately, despite our willingness to work with Turks and Caicos officials to get our constituents home, we were not able to find a path forward," Sen. Markwayne Mullin, R-Okla., said in a statement this week.

According to Misick's office, the other four Americans charged have been released on bail as they await their court dates. All were arrested in recent months and accused of bringing in varying amounts of ammunition to the 40-island chain in the Caribbean.

Michael Lee Evans and Tyler Wenrich have both pleaded guilty to possession of ammunition while traveling in Turks and Caicos, the territory's government said.

Evans was reportedly allowed to return to the U.S. due to a "severe" medical condition, but will be required to return to the Turks and Caicos Islands for his next hearing.

A hearing is scheduled for Tuesday for Ryan Tyler Watson, Smith said, to determine if he will enter a plea or go to trial.

Kimo Tynes, director of communications for the Office of the Premier and Public Policy, told CNN that Sharitta Shinese Grier was arrested last week but has been released on bail while awaiting trial.

Nicole Wells

Nicole Wells, a Newsmax general assignment reporter covers news, politics, and culture. She is a National Newspaper Association award-winning journalist.

© 2024 Newsmax. All rights reserved.


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The first of five Americans who were charged with possession of ammunition in the Turks and Caicos Islands received a suspended 52-week sentence and a $6,700 fine despite the efforts of a congressional delegation to have the charges dropped.
turks and caicos, firearms, ammunition, americans
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2024-48-24
Friday, 24 May 2024 04:48 PM
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