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Oklahoma Man Faces 12 Years for Ammunition in Luggage in Turks and Caicos

TULSA, OK (2-minute read) – An Oklahoma family faces severe legal consequences after airport security in Turks and Caicos discovered ammunition in their luggage. Ryan Watson, accompanied by his wife Valerie, was detained during their return from a vacation. The couple, celebrating a friend’s birthday on the islands, inadvertently packed four rounds of ammunition in their carry-on, an oversight missed by TSA in the U.S.

The incident, occurring on April 12, has led to Ryan facing potential imprisonment of up to 12 years, as local laws stringently prohibit such offenses. Despite being a misunderstanding—stemming from a previous hunting trip—the legal challenges in Turks and Caicos are formidable, with Ryan still in custody awaiting further legal proceedings.

Valerie was released on bail recently, but Ryan remains detained with his next court appearance scheduled for June 7. The couple’s ordeal is highlighted on their GoFundMe page, set up to manage their soaring legal fees and living costs while stranded abroad.

The U.S. Embassy previously warned American travelers through a travel alert in September 2023 about the severe penalties for carrying ammunition to Turks and Caicos, urging thorough luggage checks before international travel.

Firearm Safety Tip: Always double-check your luggage for any leftover ammunition or firearms before travel to ensure compliance with local and international laws.

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