American Sentenced, Freed by Turks and Caicos

Bryan Hagerich had ammunition in his luggage
By Bob Cronin,  Newser Staff
Posted May 24, 2024 4:15 PM CDT
American Sentenced, Freed by Turks and Caicos
Governors Beach Grand Turk   (Getty/Mary Baratto)

The Pennsylvania tourist detained in Turks and Caicos for having ammunition in his luggage was released Friday after receiving a suspended sentence of 52 weeks. Bryan Hagerich, who was arrested in February while on vacation with his wife and children, could have received a prison term of 12 years, UPI reports. He said the ammunition was for hunting and he didn't realize it was in his travel bag. Judge Tanya Lobban Jackson pointed out that the defendant had no prior criminal history and cited "exceptional circumstances" in the case, as well as the effect Hagerich's arrest has had on his daughter. Jackson also imposed a $6,700 fine. Hagerich spent eight nights in jail before being released on bail.

Three other Americans are awaiting trial in the British Overseas Territory on similar charges. In addition, a Florida woman, Sharitta Grier, is due in court in July; she was allowed to return to the US for medical reasons. Prime Minister Charles Washington Misick said justice was "served as the law intended." Pennsylvania Sen. John Fetterman said he met with Turks and Caicos officials days ago, and "they recognized that Bryan and the other detained Americans are not gun-runners—they are just people who made a mistake." Hagerich's congressman, Rep. Guy Reschenthaler, called on the State Department to issue a no-travel warning for Turks and Caicos; the current Level 2 travel advisory urges Americans going there to "exercise increased caution." (More Turks and Caicos Islands stories.)

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