3 US Govs Ask For Release Of Americans Detained Over Ammo

May 17, 2024

Republican Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Sitt, Democratic Pennsylvania Gov. Josh Shapiro and Republican Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin asked Wednesday for Turks and Caicos to release three Americans recently arrested over the island nation’s firearm laws.

In a letter to Turks and Caicos Gov. Dileeni Daniel-Selvaratnam, the governors asked for the release of Ryan Watson (Oklahoma), Tyler Wenrich (Virginia), and Bryan Hagerich (Pennsylvania) who were recently arrested for having stray ammunition in their luggage, according to Fox. The minimum sentence for the crime is 12 years. A total of five Americans are currently facing such prison terms in the island nation. (LEARN MORE: Democratic City Alderman Says Open Border Caused Crime Surge)

“This makes no sense whatsoever. This punishment does not fit the crime,” Sitt told Fox. “These people were leaving the country. There was no intent. They weren’t trying to harm anybody. They weren’t using guns. Let me make sure everybody knows: there were no guns.”

The Impact

40-year-old father, Watson, was arrested on April 12 for having ammo in his luggage. He says it was there from a prior hunting trip. “He can’t leave the island until he has his sentencing. And so we just hope cooler heads will prevail,” Sitt continued. “But just like any family, this is a young couple with two small children. She’s now a single mom over here. … I haven’t talked to his employer, but you can imagine if you can’t work, and you can’t provide for your family, that the financial stress on the family — the emotional stress on the children — I can’t imagine.”

The Letter

“Like thousands of Americans each year, these individuals traveled to your beautiful territory recently for leisure,” the governors said in their letter. “They have all maintained that they did not intend to bring ammunition into Turks and Caicos, and any ammunition unknowingly left in their luggage was the result of lawful conduct in the United States. We understand that none of them were carrying firearms.”

All three governors asked for the nation to “reconsider” the charges against the three men in order to “expedite their release back to their families as soon as possible.” (LEARN MORE: Conservatives Warn Of Terror Vulnerability from U.S. Open Border)

“As governors, we understand and appreciate the critical importance of upholding the laws and regulations of your territory for the protection of your citizens,” the letter continued. “We humbly ask that your government — in its wisdom — temper justice with mercy and recognize that these men made mistakes but had no apparent malicious intent.”

State Dept. Involvement?

“Our State Department should be getting involved,” Sitt said, Fox noted. “We’ve reached out to them. They need to put pressure on [the Turks and Caicos government]. I’ve done everything I can as governor to talk to the State Department, to talk to the governor of Turks, to call… my contacts and members of Parliament. We’re doing everything we can.” (LEARN MORE: China Could ‘Overwhelm’ US Military Bases)

Tell All Politicians Where To Focus Their Efforts

Did you know that you, your family, and friends can send letters directly to your elected officials today? We can tell your leaders what you want from their time in office, and what you expect from your local, state, and federal government, particularly when it comes to protecting your Second Amendment rights and protections.

Letter-writing campaigns, or even just a single letter, can be enough to sway policy. So what do you care about and want changed? Let us know, and we’ll send the letters to the right representatives for you.

Sign up for www.millionvoices.org today (text MV to 80550) and share this article with your friends and family so they can stay informed and become citizen lobbyists in the pursuit of faith and freedom across our great nation.

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