Man Faces 12-Year Prison Over Ammunition

An Oklahoma man is facing a potential 12-year prison sentence after airport security at a Turks and Caicos airport discovered ammunition in his carry-on bag. A GoFundMe page has been established to help support his family during this challenging time.

Ryan and Valerie Watson, who have two young children, were detained on April 12 while returning home from a vacation. Security personnel found four rounds of ammunition in Ryan’s duffle bag, which he had used on a previous deer hunting trip, as detailed on the GoFundMe page.

In September 2023, the U.S. Embassy in the Bahamas had issued a travel alert advising American citizens against bringing ammunition to the islands, highlighting that the penalty for such an offense could be a minimum of 12 years in prison.

The Watsons described the incident as a grave oversight. Valerie was subsequently released from custody, but Ryan remains detained without the option for bail or a set trial date. The family has requested that supporters refrain from contacting officials from the Turks and Caicos government.

The Royal Turks and Caicos Islands Police Force confirmed the arrest of Ryan Watson, charging him with one count of ammunition possession. He was granted bail set at $15,000 with stringent conditions, including restricted travel without court approval and mandatory check-ins at the Grace Bay Police Station twice a week.

Ryan’s next court appearance is a “sufficiency” hearing scheduled for June 7. In the meantime, the Watsons are facing significant legal expenses and other related costs, which are causing considerable strain, as noted on their fundraising page.