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American sentenced to time served, fined $9,000 for bringing ammo to Turks and Caicos

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A Virginia man was sentenced to time served and fined $9,000 for bringing ammunition to Turks and Caicos, avoiding a potential 12-year sentence under the islands’ strict gun laws.

Tyler Wenrich, from Richmond, traveled to Grand Turk on a cruise ship for a bachelor party in late April when ammunition was found in his possession while going through a security checkpoint, police said.

The 911 operator and emergency medical technician has remained on the island since being arrested and pleaded guilty on May 21 to two counts of possession of ammunition, for two 9 mm rounds.

A judge handed down a three-week prison sentence Tuesday morning — which amounted to time served when factoring in the time Wenrich spent in jail following his arrest.

The 31-year-old father can return home once he pays a $9,000 fine.

He and his wife, who was there for the sentencing, plan to fly home on Thursday, Wenrich told ABC News.

“I feel very, just relieved,” he said following the sentencing. “A weight has been lifted off my shoulders, and my wife.”

MORE: What to know about Turks and Caicos’ strict gun laws after US tourists charged with possessing ammunition

Wenrich has been separated from his 18-month-old son since his arrest.

“I’m glad I get to go home and be with my son again,” he said.

Wenrich had gone shooting at a gun range with friends and said he forgot he was carrying the ammunition.

The penalty for traveling to Turks and Caicos with a firearm, ammunition or other weapon can result in a minimum sentence of 12 years in prison. However, the judge has the discretion to issue a more lenient sentence if the court finds there are exceptional circumstances.

“I have a lot of fear and anxiety as to what’s going to happen and I’m hoping that the judge finds some compassion and leniency in the situation that I’m in,” Wenrich told ABC News earlier this month.

ABC News’ Matt Rivers and Wilkie Arthur contributed to this report.

American sentenced to time served, fined $9,000 for bringing ammo to Turks and Caicos originally appeared on abcnews.go.com

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