American Sentenced in Turks and Caicos Over Ammunition Incident

Ryan Watson, an American from Oklahoma, received a suspended sentence of 13 weeks in prison and a $2,000 fine for possessing four rounds of ammunition in the Turks and Caicos Islands.

The judgment came after Watson pleaded guilty, facing potential severe penalties. His case, marked by “exceptional circumstances,” resulted in a lighter sentence than the expected 12-year prison term. As per to the official source cbsnews

Watson, who had been out on bail, was prohibited from returning to the U.S. until the resolution of his case.

He expressed immense relief upon arriving at Will Rogers World Airport in Oklahoma City, greeted by family, friends, Governor Kevin Stitt, and Senator James Lankford. Watson’s primary concern now is aiding Sharitta Grier, another American facing similar charges in the islands.

Governor Stitt commended the judge’s balanced decision, emphasizing that the punishment should fit the crime. Watson shared his gratitude for the support from Oklahoma and the broader United States community, noting the overwhelming sense of relief and blessing.

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Watson was initially arrested in April when the ammunition was found in his carry-on bag as he and his wife, Valerie, prepared to return from vacation.

Valerie faced no charges and returned home earlier. Watson maintains that the incident was a mistake with no malicious intent.

Other Americans have faced similar situations in the Turks and Caicos, receiving lighter sentences due to exceptional circumstances.

This has prompted local lawmakers to amend the mandatory minimum sentencing guidelines for firearms offenses, granting judges more discretion in such case.

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