American Tourist Makes Terrible Mistake, Faces 12 Years In Prison

A dream vacation has turned into a nightmare for Ryan Watson, a 40-year-old man from Oklahoma. Watson and his wife traveled to the tropical island of Turks and Caicos in early April to celebrate friends’ 40th birthdays. Little did they know that their innocent vacation would turn into a terrifying ordeal.

After arriving at the Howard Hamilton International Airport, security found four rounds of hunting ammunition in Watson’s luggage. However, Watson claims that the ammo was unknowingly left in a duffel bag from a deer hunting trip and had no intention of breaking the law. In fact, the ammo had slipped through TSA security at the couple’s local airport, showing that this was a simple mistake.

Instead of being allowed to enjoy their vacation, Watson and his wife were subjected to a “terrifying interrogation” by authorities. The couple were charged with possession of ammunition – a charge that carries a minimum of 12 years in prison in Turks & Caicos. This is a ridiculous punishment for a simple mistake made by a law-abiding American citizen.

Thankfully, the charges against Valerie Watson, who is an elementary school teacher, were dropped, and she was able to return home to her children. However, Ryan Watson is still facing a 12-year prison sentence, tearing him apart from his family and community.

Governor Kevin Stitt of Oklahoma, a Republican, has written a letter to the Turks and Caicos government urging them to release Watson. He attests to the couple’s high moral character and notes they are devoted parents to their two young children. He also stresses that their possession of the ammunition was unintentional and not a deliberate attempt to break the law.

Despite this, Watson had to pay a $15,000 bond to be released from jail and is now facing expensive living fees while he awaits his court appearance in June. He is unable to leave the country and must check in with authorities, causing a great financial burden for his family.

The authorities in Turks and Caicos have blown this innocent mistake out of proportion. Watson is an avid outdoorsman who had no intention of breaking the law. It is a shame that he is being punished in this manner and separated from his family.

Thankfully, a GoFundMe campaign has been set up to assist the Watson family with their legal fees and living expenses. The response from the community has been overwhelming, with nearly $210,000 raised so far.