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Yet another one. Lesson: Stay out of Turks and Caicos Login/Join 
Member
Picture of rainmaker5505
posted
After winning the pistol auction to benefit Mike Evans after his ordeal in Turks, I had the pleasure of speaking with him for a while on the phone, later telling my wife about what he went through. She just showed me this, where a gentleman from Oklahoma is suffering a similar fate.


An Arcadia woman is back home after being arrested on the Turks and Caicos Islands.

Valerie and Ryan Watson were on their way home when airport security found bullets in the couple's luggage.

Valerie says her husband Ryan is a hunter and they didn't know the ammunition was in their luggage.

While she was able to leave, her husband was charged with possession of ammunition which carries a 12-year sentence there.

"Just to get to hold my babies was something I am going to think about for a long time," said Valerie. "Our goal is to get Ryan home because we can't live without dad."

Ryan is still in Turks and Caicos out on bond and awaiting a court hearing.

https://www.newson6.com/story/...icos-husband-charged



"America could use some turpentine, all the way from Hollywierd to New York City." -- Phil Robertson
 
Posts: 466 | Location: Oxford, PA | Registered: January 27, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
The Unknown
Stuntman
Picture of bionic218
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Already on my list of places to never go.

I understand, one less pasty white tourist for them = BFD, there’s ten more to take my place.

But reading his story was enough to convince me.
No thanks, if I feel some deep abiding need for a sunburn I’ll just go back to South Padre. Keep my tourism dollars and my melanoma stateside. Cool
 
Posts: 10761 | Location: missouri | Registered: October 18, 2009Reply With QuoteReport This Post
drop and give me
20 pushups
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Another reason to not travel outside of the borders of the United states... It is getting bad enough inside our borders but once you cross our borders the other countries/ destinations could care less that you are claiming to be United States Citizen but use your citizenship as a under the table money making scheme to blackmail the families and our government as a bargaining chip........ I am staying home and take my chances here. ........................ drill sgt.
 
Posts: 2029 | Location: denham springs , la | Registered: October 19, 2019Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Itchy was taken
Picture of scratchy
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I travel frequently. Laws differ across the world. While I feel deeply for these folks and their plight, my travel luggage has never has a firearms related item in it. We never mix range and travel, or carry and travel. Ever. Most non-US countries have rather severe penalties for guns and ammunition.

The US TSA imposes some severe penalties too. Keep guns and luggage far apart.


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Posts: 4026 | Location: Colorado | Registered: August 24, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Picture of rainmaker5505
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quote:
Originally posted by scratchy:
I travel frequently. Laws differ across the world. While I feel deeply for these folks and their plight, my travel luggage has never has a firearms related item in it. We never mix range and travel, or carry and travel. Ever. Most non-US countries have rather severe penalties for guns and ammunition.

The US TSA imposes some severe penalties too. Keep guns and luggage far apart.



While I agree with this in principle and in practice, (I have dedicated range bags, and dedicated luggage) I can see how easy it could be for someone to make this kind of mistake. Mike Evans told me that the magazine with 15 9mm rounds that he had in Turks was lost 5 years prior. It was so buried in a side pocket of his suitcase that it took 2 people and an x-ray machine 20 minutes to find it. It could really happen to anyone.

I’m also not leaving the states these days. Wife and I had our ten year anniversary last year, and Key West was just as good as our honeymoon in the D.R.



"America could use some turpentine, all the way from Hollywierd to New York City." -- Phil Robertson
 
Posts: 466 | Location: Oxford, PA | Registered: January 27, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Picture of Ironmike57
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I’ve been there a few times. On 1 trip, I found 2 live 9mm rounds in my carryon that security missed. As soon as I got to my hotel, I threw them into the ocean.

quote:
Originally posted by bionic218:
Already on my list of places to never go.

I understand, one less pasty white tourist for them = BFD, there’s ten more to take my place.

But reading his story was enough to convince me.
No thanks, if I feel some deep abiding need for a sunburn I’ll just go back to South Padre. Keep my tourism dollars and my melanoma stateside. Cool
 
Posts: 1981 | Location: Florida | Registered: July 26, 2010Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Picture of smlsig
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I’m sorry to hear of this happening again but as was said above you are ultimately responsible for adhering to the laws of what ever country you happen to be visiting whether or not you agree with them.

Most countries in the world have very strict laws pertaining to firearms and ammunition even though the locals can sometimes easily find them ( I’m looking at you Mexico).

In the past couple of years I’ve had my luggage searched almost every time I fly whether it’s TSA or another country’s customs agents…I must be on some sort of list!


------------------
Eddie

Our Founding Fathers were men who understood that the right thing is not necessarily the written thing. -kkina
 
Posts: 6337 | Location: In transit | Registered: February 19, 2013Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Freethinker
Picture of sigfreund
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Why it is a good idea to check the US Department of State travel advisories before going abroad.

https://bs.usembassy.gov/trave...-and-caicos-islands/

But these reports do point out the value of social media these days.




6.4/93.6
 
Posts: 47421 | Location: 10,150 Feet Above Sea Level in Colorado | Registered: April 04, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Ammoholic
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quote:
Originally posted by scratchy:
I travel frequently. Laws differ across the world. While I feel deeply for these folks and their plight, my travel luggage has never has a firearms related item in it. We never mix range and travel, or carry and travel. Ever. Most non-US countries have rather severe penalties for guns and ammunition.

The US TSA imposes some severe penalties too. Keep guns and luggage far apart.
That sounds like a great general plan, but falls apart when traveling for shooting classes. Perhaps a better rule is to be very careful with your firearms and ammunition and be aware of where they are at all times.
 
Posts: 6926 | Location: Lost, but making time. | Registered: February 23, 2011Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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So... When is the ammo found? On your way into the country? Or on the way out? One would think that if T&C was serious about restricting ammo coming into the country, steps would be taken to prevent its initial entry, not its exit.


End of Earth: 2 Miles
Upper Peninsula: 4 Miles
 
Posts: 16133 | Location: Marquette MI | Registered: July 08, 2014Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Freethinker
Picture of sigfreund
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quote:
Originally posted by slosig:
Perhaps a better rule is to be very careful with your firearms and ammunition and be aware of where they are at all times.

An interesting notion. Roll Eyes

I can understand running afoul of places like Washington, DC, where similar idiocy prevails, but when traveling to a foreign country with, oh, I don’t know: perhaps customs controls and searches and serious laws—?

(Yes, I know: Now that I’ve said it, the Karma gods will rub their hands with glee and I’ll be the next to find myself in the Gulag for something equally unintended, but I can’t not wonder about these stories. I really do not see any difference between them and getting busted in Russia for attempting to bring in THC.)




6.4/93.6
 
Posts: 47421 | Location: 10,150 Feet Above Sea Level in Colorado | Registered: April 04, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Peace through
superior firepower
Picture of parabellum
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That's a jackass thing to say. You equate a shooter / gun owner accidentally leaving ammunition in a bag, with attempting to smuggle illegal substances into a country?

You're about to really piss me off with your arrogant dismissal of honest mistakes by law-abiding American citizens.

Not only that, but you're talking about friends of mine, insulting them. Who the fuck do you think you are to drop this kind of shit in this forum?
 
Posts: 107762 | Registered: January 20, 2000Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Peace through
superior firepower
Picture of parabellum
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Oh, NOW you're going to exercise discretion, huh?

There are Americans down there now in a third-world jail who intended harm to no one, who did not intend to break any laws, and who are unsure when they will again see their family and their home. And you thought it was a good idea to kick them.

I want you, please, to tell me why you thought it was a good idea for you to insult people who are my friends, both of whom are members of this forum. It's blatantly disrespectful to those guys, to post that smirking shit.
 
Posts: 107762 | Registered: January 20, 2000Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Freethinker
Picture of sigfreund
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I expressed my opinion about what I consider to be a lack of due care when traveling abroad.

My comment was not intended as an insult to anyone, and I readily admit to having made mistakes myself. I remember virtually all of them, including having left a loaded magazine in an inappropriate place just recently.




6.4/93.6
 
Posts: 47421 | Location: 10,150 Feet Above Sea Level in Colorado | Registered: April 04, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Peace through
superior firepower
Picture of parabellum
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Funny, I don't see an apology, and I read your response twice.

https://twitter.com/CBSEvening.../1782911111475482645




https://www.cbsnews.com/news/t...e-american-tourists/

Valerie Watson returned to Oklahoma City's Will Rogers World Airport in tears on Tuesday morning in a drastic departure from how she imagined her long weekend trip to Turks and Caicos would end.

Watson is home, but her husband, Ryan Watson, is in jail on the island and facing a potential mandatory minimum sentence of 12 years behind bars after airport security allegedly found four rounds of hunting ammo in his carry-on bag earlier this month.

"We were trying to pack board shorts and flip flops," Valerie Watson told CBS News. "Packing ammunition was not at all our intent."

Valerie Watson, who learned Sunday she would not be charged and would be allowed to return home, said the trip "went from what was supposed to be a dream vacation to a nightmare."

The Watsons are not the only ones going through this ordeal.

Bryan Hagerich is awaiting trial after ammo was found in the Pennsylvania man's checked bag in February.

"I subsequently spent eight nights in their local jail. Some of the darkest, hardest times of my life, quite frankly," Hagerich said. "These last 70 days have been kind of a roller coaster, just the pain and suffering of having your family at home and I'm here."

Possessing a gun or ammunition is prohibited in Turks and Caicos, but tourists were previously often able to just pay a fine. In February, however, a court order mandated that even tourists in the process of leaving the country are subject to prison time.

Since November 2022, eight firearms and ammunition prosecutions in total have been brought involving tourists from the United States, three of which are currently before the court with each of the defendants on bail.

Last year, a judge found Michael Grim from Indiana had "exceptional circumstances" when he pleaded guilty to accidentally having ammunition in his checked bag. He served almost six months in prison.

"No clean running water. You're kind of exposed to the environment 24/7," he told CBS News. "Mosquitoes and tropical illnesses are a real concern. There's some hostile actors in the prison."

The judge was hoping to send a message to other Americans.

"[His] sentencing was completely predicated on the fact that I was an American," Grim said.

The U.S. embassy last September posted a travel alert online, warning people to "check your luggage for stray ammunition," noting it would "not be able to secure your release from custody."

In a statement, a State Department spokesperson told CBS News, "We are aware of the arrest of U.S. citizens in Turks and Caicos. When a U.S. citizen is arrested overseas, we stand ready to provide all appropriate consular assistance. In a foreign country, U.S. citizens are subject to that country's laws, even if they differ from those in the United States."

Last year, TSA found a record 6,737 guns at airport security checkpoints, and most of them were loaded.

"I can't even begin to think that this very innocent, regrettable mistake would prevent me from being able to watch my son graduate or teach him to shave or take my daughter to dances," Ryan Watson said. "It's just unfathomable. I do not — I can't process it."

The Turks and Caicos government responded to CBS News in a lengthy statement confirming the law and reiterating that, even if extenuating circumstances are found to be present, the judge is required to mandate prison time.
 
Posts: 107762 | Registered: January 20, 2000Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Picture of SSgt USMC/Vet
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It's my understanding he was leaving the country as was told on conservative radio show today. So why is this a big deal, they were not trying to smuggle them into the country they were leaving.



I would like to add that the State Department should impose an immediate travel ban to this shithole as they did with Cuba til all parties are released.
 
Posts: 1958 | Location: Northern Virginia/Buggs Island, Boydton Va. | Registered: July 13, 2011Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Peace through
superior firepower
Picture of parabellum
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quote:
Originally posted by SSgt USMC/Vet:
It's my understanding he was leaving the country as was told on conservative radio show today. So why is this a big deal, they were not trying to smuggle them into the country they were leaving.
If you research the matter, you will find that this is always the case, no exceptions.

This was the case with our members dave7378 and Mike Evans.

The authorities in T&C know what they are doing, and it is malicious. I used to think this was done as a money grab, but for reasons I won't go into right now, it is now quite clear to me that this is not about money; it is about a hatred of Americans by authorities and citizens of T&C. Their economy depends overwhelmingly upon tourism- specifically American tourism- and they know this and they resent it and resent us.

I'll have more to say about this tomorrow. The forum is going to be part of a push to get the word out about the America-hating hypocrites in T&C. I am going to be requesting technical assistance from among the members of the forum.

The gloves are off. I have held my tongue for a long time, but it's no use, because the authorities and the government of T&C are not going to change their ways.

More to come
 
Posts: 107762 | Registered: January 20, 2000Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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If the TSA checks were as thorough as they supposed to be the ammo would've been caught before the outbound flight from the US. Not a picnic in itself, but way better than rotting in a foreign jail.
 
Posts: 120 | Registered: June 11, 2009Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Peace through
superior firepower
Picture of parabellum
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I'm certain the TSA does catch some of these mistakes; it's the ones they don't catch that go on to the islands.

Now, ask yourself this: If making sure that guns and ammunition do not get into their country is paramount, why is it that T&C catches these offenses only on the way out of the country?

This is why I thought since last year that T&C authorities were allowing this as part of a money grab. The "rich Americans" spend a week or two in the country, leave thousands and thousands of dollars behind, and then, on the way out, they catch these offenses. Again, always on the way out.

Formerly, those found guilty of breaking this law were usually allowed to pay a fine and leave, but the citizens of T&C resented the fact that the "rich Americans" were allowed to use their "wealth" to pay and leave, whereas an islander caught in possession of firearms and/or ammunition faced the full force of the law.

Naturally, the authorities of T&C understand that there is a monumental difference involved: American tourists, with their little handful of ammunition simply made a mistake due to oversight. The authorities know that the United States is awash in legal gun ownership, and therefore, ammunition will sometimes find its way into a backpack or whatever. The authorities know these instances are merely mistakes, whereas when an islander is found with guns and/or ammunition, the possession- in a place completely disallowing civilian ownership of these thing- is intentional and criminal.

And yet, the authorities know this, all the while happily taking American dollars from those people whom they despise.

So, now the clause in the law, which allowed a person so charged to plead 'exceptional circumstances' and pay a fine, has been revoked, and if found guilty, it's jail time for the person.

You see, if all of this was merely about money, the clause wouldn't have been revoked. That clause is no more, so no more pay a fine and go home.

They don't want your money; that is to say, they don't want only your money. They want to put your "rich American" ass in a third-world prison. However, they do get to eat their cake and have it, too, because before jailing you for 12 years, they let you spend time on the island and leave your money, and then, on the way out, they catch you. No more 20 or 30,000 dollar fines, but they still do get some of your money, and then they get what they really want, which is to throw an American in their shithole prison.
 
Posts: 107762 | Registered: January 20, 2000Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Oh, I don't dispute the T&C azzhat's motives, I'm just saying the TSA is failing us in one (rare) area it could have been helpful.
 
Posts: 120 | Registered: June 11, 2009Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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