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Second U.S. tourist fined, released for ammo violation in Turks and Caicos

By Mike Heuer

May 28 (UPI) -- Tyler Wenrich of Richmond, Va., was ordered to pay a $9,000 fine and was sentenced to time served and released for bringing ammunition to the Turks and Caicos Islands in April.

Wenrich, 31, faced a potential 12-year sentence after ammunition was found in his backpack while he was in Grand Turk to attend a bachelor party in late April.

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Wenrich is an emergency medical technician and a 911 operator who sailed on a cruise ship to Grand Turk.

Personnel at a security checkpoint found two rounds of ammunition in his bag when he tried to board the cruise ship.

Wenrich said the ammunition was left over from a recent hunting trip and he was unaware the two rounds were still in his backpack.

Wenrich is married, has an 18-month-old son, and pleaded guilty to two counts of possessing ammunition on May 21.

A judge on Tuesday ruled "extraordinary circumstances" applied to Wenrich's case when fining him and sentencing him to time served.

Wenrich said he teared up during the hearing whenever he heard references to his young son and he is "relieved at the outcome."

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Wenrich said he plans to fly back to Virginia on Thursday.

Wenrich was one of five U.S. citizens recently arrested and charged with ammunition violations in the Turks and Caicos Islands.

Pennsylvania resident Bryan Hagerich also faced up to 12 years in prison for bringing 20 rounds of ammunition in his luggage to the Turks and Caicos Islands.

He was vacationing with his wife and two children when he was arrested in February.

A judge released Hagerich on Friday after sentencing him to a $6,700 fine and a suspended one-year sentence.

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