UNITED STATES NEWS

American is flying home after getting suspended sentence for ammo possession in Turks and Caicos

May 24, 2024, 12:09 PM | Updated: 9:22 pm

PROVIDENCIALES, Turks and Caicos Islands (AP) — An American arrested in the Caribbean for illegally carrying ammunition received a suspended sentence Friday, according to a spokesperson for the Turks and Caicos Islands, and his spokesman said he was flying back to the United States.

Bryan Hagerich was sentenced to one year, suspended and fined $6,700, said Kimo Tynes, communications director for Premier C. Washington Misick and the Turks and Caicos government.

Hagerich, who lives in rural Somerset County in southwestern Pennsylvania, is among five Americans to face similar ammunition-related criminal charges in Turks and Caicos while visiting the upscale tourist destination about 600 miles (965 km) southeast of Miami.

The British territory adopted stricter gun laws in 2022 following a jump in gun violence and weapons trafficking. The U.S. State Department has cautioned travelers to Turks and Caicos to be vigilant about keeping guns and ammunition out of their luggage.

His lawyer, Oliver A. Smith, said that if Hagerich doesn’t get in trouble over the coming year he will not have to serve his sentence. He paid the fine, Smith said.

“He was anxious to be back home, back to his two children. He’s happy all this is behind him,” Smith said, adding that Hagerich was remorseful and had simply forgotten the ammunition was in his luggage when it was found as he was leaving Turks and Caicos.

On Friday afternoon, Hagerich’s spokesperson Jonathan Franks texted The Associated Press to say he was on a flight to Pittsburgh with Hagerich and family members.

“Very grateful to the Court for giving two very special kids their dad back,” Franks wrote in a post to the social media platform X. “Even more grateful to the numerous TCI nationals who helped along the way.”

Franks told the AP the judge’s decision “was exhaustively detailed and we appreciate the holistic approach she took to the case.”

In a statement, Misick said justice was served by the sentence.

“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, adding that “the law stands firm and applies to everyone equally, without exception.”

Hagerich previously pleaded guilty to possessing 20 rounds of rifle ammunition, according to an April 26 news release from the Communications Directorate. He had been on bail.

U.S. Sen. John Fetterman, of Pennsylvania, met with Hagerich and other Americans facing similar charges earlier this week.

“I’m hopeful that TCI expedites the rest of these cases and that the other detained Americans will soon be released and reunited with their families as well,” Fetterman said in a statement.

The governors of Oklahoma, Pennsylvania and Virginia this month wrote the islands’ governor on behalf of three of the men charged who were from their states. They maintained they mistakenly took ammunition with them on vacation and did not have firearms.

Another American arrested in Turks and Caicos, Ryan Tyler Watson, of Oklahoma, was there to celebrate birthdays, a relative wrote on a GoFundMe page seeking donations for his legal defense. He has made bail but remains in that country with a June hearing scheduled.

The Turks and Caicos government has said others arrested there are Michael Lee Evans, 72, of Texas; and Tyler Scott Wenrich, 31, of Virginia.

Evans pleaded guilty last month to possessing seven 9mm rounds of ammunition and has been on bail, the island’s Communications Directorate said in late April.

A fifth American, Sharitta Shanise Grier, 45, of Orlando, Florida, was arrested for ammunition possession in April at the airport, the Royal Turks and Caicos Island Police said in a news release. Police said she was due in court in July.

Tynes, the government spokesperson, said Grier and Watson were in the courtroom Friday for Hagerman’s sentencing.

___

This story has been corrected to show that Franks is Hagerich’s spokesperson, not his lawyer.

United States News

Associated Press

Woman holding large knife at Denver intersection shot and killed by police, chief says

DENVER (AP) — Officers shot and killed a woman who was holding a large, hunting-style knife at an intersection in downtown Denver on Sunday, police said. Officers used a Taser on the woman twice but she began advancing toward them as they tried to back up from her, Denver police Chief Ron Thomas said a […]

3 hours ago

Associated Press

2 killed when vintage plane crashes during Father’s Day event at Southern California airfield

CHINO, Calif. (AP) — Two people were killed aboard a vintage plane that crashed and burst into flames near a Southern California airfield during a weekend Father’s Day event hosted by an air museum, authorities said Sunday. The Federal Aviation Administration said the twin-engine Lockheed 12A crashed shortly after 12:30 p.m. Saturday, just west of […]

7 hours ago

Associated Press

2 people seriously injured after small plane crashes near interstate south of Denver

LARKSPUR, Colo. (AP) — Two people were hospitalized with serious injuries after their small plane crashed near Interstate 25 in Colorado on Sunday, officials said. The plane crashed in a field just off I-25 near Larkspur, about 40 miles (64 kilometers) south of Denver, after it apparently hit a sign on the highway, causing it […]

8 hours ago

Associated Press

Kansas lawmaker’s law license suspended over conflicts of interest in murder case

WICHITA, Kan. (AP) — A Republican Kansas lawmaker who already dropped his re-election campaign last month after he was arrested in a traffic stop has now been barred from practicing law for at least a year for mishandling conflicts of interest in a murder case. The Kansas Supreme Court ruled that state Rep. Carl Maughan […]

8 hours ago

Associated Press

Police identify Michigan splash pad shooter but there’s still no word on a motive

ROCHESTER HILLS, Mich. (AP) — Authorities on Sunday identified the man who opened fire at a splash pad in suburban Detroit before taking his own life, but his motives remained unknown as investigators worked to determine if he left behind any hint of his plans. Oakland County Sheriff’s spokesperson Stephen Huber said the shooter was […]

12 hours ago

Associated Press

7 shot when gunfire erupts at a pop-up party in Massachusetts

METHUEN, Mass. (AP) — Seven people were shot and wounded, and an eighth was hurt while running away when gunfire erupted at a large gathering of young people in Methuen, Massachusetts, authorities said Sunday. The gunfire began just before 2 a.m. after hundreds of people gathered for a pop-up party organized on social media, officials […]

13 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

...

Sanderson Ford

3 new rides for 3 new road trips in Arizona

It's time for the Sanderson Ford Memorial Day sale with the Mighty Fine 69 Anniversary, as Sanderson Ford turned 69 years old in May.

...

Day & Night Air Conditioning, Heating and Plumbing

Beat the heat, ensure your AC unit is summer-ready

With temperatures starting to rise across the Valley, now is a great time to be sure your AC unit is ready to withstand the sweltering summer heat.

...

DISC Desert Institute for Spine Care

Sciatica pain is treatable but surgery may be required

Sciatica pain is one of the most common ailments a person can face, and if not taken seriously, it could become one of the most harmful.

American is flying home after getting suspended sentence for ammo possession in Turks and Caicos