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Father From Pennsylvania Was Stopped in Turks and Caicos and Told to Go Home After Paying a Fine for Having Ammunition in His Bags


A Turks and Caicos judge suspended Bryan Hagerich’s 52-month sentence on Friday morning. Hagerich is a father of two from Pennsylvania and used to play professional baseball. He pleaded guilty to having guns on the Turks and Caicos Islands (TCI).

Five Americans have been arrested and held on the islands since February for having unintentional firearms in their luggage. This is a crime that can get you up to 12 years in prison in TCI. Ryan Watson, 40, from Oklahoma; Sharitta Grier, 45, from Florida; Tyler Wenrich, 31, from Virginia; and Michael Lee Evans, 72, from Texas are the other adults.

Hagerich’s spokesman, Jonathan Franks, said in a tweet on Friday, “He will be released shortly.”

A $6,500 fine was also given to Hagerich.

“My goal from the moment I was arrested was to leave the island and return to my family.” “Every feeling you can think of is there because that day could be tomorrow,” Hagerich told Fox News Digital on Thursday. “Clearly there’s a lot of stress. That result is being prayed for by many people around the world, including family, friends, and people we don’t even know.

Afterwards, he said that he and his lawyers “made a very, very strong case” for him in court.

A number of politicians praised the judge’s ruling on Friday. In a post on X on Friday, Democratic Pennsylvania Sen. Bob Casey called Hagerich’s sentence being put on hold “great news.”

“I’m grateful that the authorities in Turks and Caicos exercised leniency and that Bryan Hagerich will soon be on his way home to his family in Somerset,” Casey said.

Pennsylvania Republican Rep. Guy Reschenthaler said, “I’m glad to see Bryan Hagerich will be going back to Pennsylvania to be with his wife and two kids again, but this terrible thing should never have happened to him or the four other Americans who are still waiting to be sentenced.”

“While the government of Turks and Caicos works to handle future cases, the British territory must make sure that U.S. tourists are safe and healthy.” The lawmaker said, “I won’t stop until Americans can live on their islands again without fear for their jobs.”

Also, Sen. John Fetterman, D-Pa., said it was “great news.”

“When we talked to TCI officials a few days ago, they made it clear that they wanted this problem to be fixed.” “They saw that Bryan and the other Americans in jail are not gun runners; they’re just bad people who did something wrong,” Fetterman said. “I’m glad the judge saw that sending Bryan home was the right thing to do.” The U.S. State Department has also been a very important partner in getting Bryan back home. I hope that TCI speeds up the rest of these cases and that the other Americans who are being held will soon be freed and reunited with their families as well.

Grier, Watson, and Hagerich have all been living in the same apartment while they wait to find out what will happen to them on the island.

“We all help and support each other.” He said, “You know, it’s a big family.” He later said that the three of them were “like two brothers and a sister.”

Even though their situations were a little different, all five were stopped on their way home because security found guns in their bags.

Hagerich found extra ammunition from a previous shooting trip in one of the compartments of a big suitcase that his family had packed for a trip.

“I never in a million years thought I’d be in Turks and Caicos for over 100 days for a simple mistake,” said Hagerich.

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