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US Tourist Faces 12 Years in Turks and Caicos over Ammo Mistake



Clear Facts

  • Ryan Watson, an American tourist, could face up to 12 years in a Turks and Caicos prison after four rounds of hunting ammunition were found in his luggage.
  • The Watsons were initially detained and interrogated by local authorities, charges were later dropped against Valerie Watson who has since returned to their home in Oklahoma.
  • Despite paying a $15,000 bond for release, Ryan Watson still faces charges and is currently residing in Turks and Caicos, his next court date is scheduled for June 7.

Ryan Watson, a 40-year-old American and his wife had planned a vacation to Turks and Caicos, however, they soon found themselves facing local authorities after discovering four rounds of hunting ammunition in his luggage.

The couple had traveled from Oklahoma to the Caribbean island for a friendly celebration. However, during a security check at the Howard Hamilton International Airport on April 12, four rounds of ammo were found in a duffel bag, which were “unknowingly left in a duffel bag from a deer hunting trip,” as per a post made on behalf of the family.

Shockingly, the couple had managed to pass through security at their local Will Rogers World Airport without the ammunition being detected. The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) is now looking into how this happened.
“TSA is conducting a review at OKC, which was the originating airport,” the organization said in a statement.

Both Ryan and Valerie Watson were charged with possession of ammunition, an offense which carries a minimum sentence of 12 years in Turks & Caicos. After their arrest, Ryan expressed his intimidation, and Valerie conveyed her concern for their children back home.

However, the charges against Valerie Watson, an elementary school teacher, were eventually dropped, allowing her to return home to Oklahoma and their children.

Governor Kevin Stitt of Oklahoma sent a letter to the Turks and Caicos Islands government, hoping to secure Ryan’s release. Stitt wrote, “The Watsons are upstanding members of their community and the State of Oklahoma, and I can assure you countless others stand willing to confirm their high moral characters.”
He continued, “Like many in Oklahoma, Mr. Watson is an avid outdoorsman. To the extent Mr. Watson possessed ammunition, it would have been due to an inadvertent oversight, not an intentional attempt to break the law.”

Despite paying a $15,000 bond, Watson remains in Turks and Caicos under strict conditions, including surrendering his passport and regular check-ins with local authorities. He has been forced to stay at an expensive rental property, with financial assistance from his in-laws.
A fundraising campaign raised almost $210,000 for the Watson family to cover his legal fees and living expenses. His next court appearance is slated for June 7.

Let us know what you think, please share your thoughts in the comments below.




  1. Ronnie

    April 30, 2024 at 7:11 am

    This is BULLSHIT another example of the Biden administration not giving a shit about American citizens.

    • Howaaes

      May 3, 2024 at 7:13 pm

      Exactly bullshit we need someone with a cigarette boat to arrange a boat trip for him – all the way back to Florida.

    • Richard Frye

      May 3, 2024 at 10:11 pm

      A BULLSHIT RESPONSE by Ronnie.

  2. EleanorRigby

    May 3, 2024 at 6:37 pm

    Americans have to understand that when they visit another country you have to follow their laws, not yours. However, in this instance I truly
    believe he had forgotten about the ammo and I hope the Turks and Caicos Governemt will let him go with a stern warning.

  3. Vikingwarrior

    May 3, 2024 at 6:48 pm

    This is pure BS people ought to boycott those for s__t islands let the garbage that run those islands go hungry just another 3rd world acting country.

  4. Frank Flint

    May 3, 2024 at 6:49 pm

    If the current administration would simply pick up the phone and inform the T&C that all flights and tourism to there island will be suspended until Mr. Watsons release and return to the USA he would be home tomorrow.

  5. Grannybl

    May 3, 2024 at 6:52 pm

    Turks and Caicos probably makes a lot of money from American tourists. I hope no American visits T&C until this is resolved and this man is home with his family. People do make mistakes and this man sounds like an upright citizen that just forgot to unpack his ammo.

  6. Bruno

    May 4, 2024 at 9:18 pm

    How Stupid is this it doesn’t take Einstein to see this is a joke what sort of people are running this country are they so dumb ?..but what els can you expect from BUREAUCRATS?

  7. inyoface

    May 4, 2024 at 10:25 pm

    I agree with all of the above, but since they were traveling to another country, why didn’t they make sure no contraband was taken in? Mexico has arrested people for having ONE bullet in a camper, so be damn sure traveling abroad you are legal. This is what happen’s in “no gun laws” parts of the world. A simple mistake cost’s a lot.

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