Another American Arrested in Turks and Caicos for Allegedly Having Ammunition, Could Face 12 Years

Tyler Wenrich is the third American detained in the country this month, and the second who possibly faces over a decade in prison

<p>Royal Turks and Caicos Islands Police Force</p> Tyler Wenrich

Royal Turks and Caicos Islands Police Force

Tyler Wenrich
  • Tyler Wenrich was arrested in Turks and Caicos and charged with possession of ammunition

  • Authorities in the island territory say Wenrich entered Grand Turk on a cruise

  • Earlier this month, Ryan and Valerie Watson were arrested after he was allegedly found with ammo in his suitcase

For the second time this month an American tourist has been arrested in Turks and Caicos and faces over a decade in prison for allegedly bringing ammunition into the Caribbean territory.

Tyler Wenrich, 31, of Virginia, was charged with possession of ammunition on April 23 by the Criminal Investigations Department of the Royal Turks and Caicos Islands Police Force, the agency said in a release.

Wenrich appeared in court and was remanded into custody prior to a sufficiency hearing in June, according to the release.

Police say that Wenrich traveled to Grand Turk on a cruise ship and allegedly had ammunition while going through a security checkpoint.

A 2022 law passed in Turks and Caicos prohibits people from carrying guns or ammunition and comes with a minimum prison sentence of 12 years.

"I feel like, as a very honest mistake, that 12 years is absurd," Wenrich’s wife, Jeriann, told CBS News. “My son's only 18 months old, and I just don't want him to grow up without a dad.”

Earlier this month, Oklahoma couple Ryan and Valerie Watson were detained for two weeks in the territory after they were found with hunting ammunition found in Ryan’s carry-on bag before their flight home, PEOPLE previously reported.

NBC 10 Boston reported that the charges against Valerie were dropped and she was allowed to return to the U.S. to be with the couple’s two children. But Ryan still faces criminal charges. CBS reported he was released on $15,000 bond but must remain on the island as the case moves forward.

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Ryan told NBC 10 it was a “bonehead mistake.”

"They were hunting ammunition rounds that I use for whitetail deer,” he told the outlet. “I had no idea that those were in there."

CBS reports that two other Americans are facing prison sentences in Turks and Caicos on similar charges.

One of those men, Bryan Hagerich of Pennsylvania, faces a sentencing hearing in May and spoke to NBC 10.

“It's incredibly scary,” Hagerich told the outlet. “You just don't know what the next day may bring … what path this may take. You know, you're in a completely different culture, a different country by yourself … I'm just very anxious, eager to get home to my family. This has been too long. It's just had so much irreparable harm to my family.”

Last year, another American, Michael Grim, was sentenced to six months after pleading guilty to possession of ammunition. 

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