Ryan Watson Free, Returning Home

National media is reporting that Turks and Caicos authorities have released Ryan Watson of Edmond, Oklahoman. Watson received today a suspended 13-week jail sentence and a fine of $2,000 – or $500 per bullet, according to family spokesman Jonathan Franks speaking to Fox News.

Watson faced 12 years in the island lockup after Turks and Caicos authorities found four stray bullets in his luggage. He was detained in April and is expected to pay his fine and get on a flight to Oklahoma City before the end of the day.

Ryan Watson, second from left, smiles with family after a Turks and Caicos Islands judge allowed him to return to the U.S. Friday. He was faced 12 years in prison for violating the country’s strict firearms laws after flying with stray bullets in his luggage. (Jonathan Franks/FoxNews.com)

Tulsa Today first covered the story when Congressman Josh Brecheen (R-OK) and Senator Markwayne Mullin (R-OK) returned from a bipartisan, bicameral congressional delegation (CODEL) to Turks and Caicos (TCI) where the members met with TCI government officials to discuss the five Americans being detained on the islands for inadvertently having ammunition in their luggage.

CODEL with Brecheen and Mullin meet in Turks and Caicos.

After sentencing, the judge urged American travelers bound for Turks and Caicos to double-check their bags. Great Idea, if not critical personal rule in traveling. Watson told Fox News the bullets had been forgotten in his bag after a prior hunting trip.

The country’s parliament agreed unanimously earlier this week to revise the new ordinance after “a great deal of flacking” from American lawmakers, the country’s Newsline TCI reported. In Oklahoma we call “flacking” raising hell and we are glad our elected officials spoke up directly.

“This legislative change is a critical step in ensuring our legal system is both just and flexible,” the parliament’s opposition leader Edwin Astwood told The Sun TCI, a local paper. “It acknowledges that not all cases are alike and that our judges must have the ability to consider all factors and impose sentences that are truly just and appropriate,” reported Fox.

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