'We are not bad people': Oklahoma couple describes being detained in Turks and Caicos (2024)

VALERIE WATSON AND HER HUSBAND, RYAN WENT TO TURKS AND CAICOS TO CELEBRATE A 40TH BIRTHDAY. THEY WERE SUPPOSED TO BE HOME ON FRIDAY, APRIL 12TH, BUT AS YOU MAY HAVE HEARD BY NOW, FOUR BULLETS KEPT THAT FROM HAPPENING. EVERYTHING WAS IN THAT BAG. UM, FROM THE MOMENT THAT WE LEFT OUR HOUSE AND IT WENT THROUGH SECURITY THROUGH OKC, UM, IT NEVER GOT FLAGGED THROUGH TSA. THE EXCITEMENT COMING HOME TO SEE THEIR KIDS AFTER A VACATION IN TURKS AND CAICOS QUICKLY TURNED TO CHAOS WHEN SECURITY FLAGGED RYAN AND VALERIE WATSON’S CARRY ON BAG, THEY PULL OUT A LITTLE TINY, LITTLE TINY ZIPLOC BAG AND IT HAD SOMETHING GOLD IN IT. I COULDN’T TELL WHAT IT WAS, AND I LOOKED AT RYAN AND I ASKED, I SAID, WHAT ARE THOSE? AND HE WAS LIKE, I THINK THOSE ARE MY HUNTING LIKE DEER HUNTING BULLETS. WATSON SAYS THEY HAD NO IDEA THE BULLETS WERE THERE AND THEY WERE FROM A PREVIOUS HUNTING TRIP. IT’S A SERIOUS CRIME THERE. THE COUPLE WAS WAS DETAINED SINCE THEN, TWO DIFFERENT LOCALS, ONE WHO THEY MET ON THEIR TRIP, HAVE PUT UP PROPERTY AS SURETY BONDS SO THEY DIDN’T HAVE TO STAY BEHIND BARS. THE FACT THAT THESE PEOPLE ARE JUST SO WILLING TO HELP US IN THIS SITUATION IS SO HUMBLING, BECAUSE WE THEY’RE COMPLETE STRANGERS TO US AND THEY’RE TAKING A HUGE RISK. I JUST WANT PEOPLE TO KNOW THAT WE ARE NOT BAD PEOPLE. UM, THIS WAS TRULY AN HONEST MISTAKE. UM, RYAN IS REALLY A RESPONSIBLE GUN OWNER. HE REALLY IS. UM, WE HAVE A SAFE. EVERYTHING’S ALWAYS LOCKED UP. IT TRULY WAS AN OVERSIGHT. NOW, WHILE HE’S OUT ON BAIL, SHE SAYS HIS FUTURE IS UNCLEAR. AND HE COULD FACE 12 YEARS IN JAIL. IT’S HARD TO IMAGINE THAT FOUR HUNTING GROUNDS CAN LAND RYAN IN PRISON FOR 12 YEARS. I CAN’T EVEN FATHOM THAT. THAT IS OUR REALITY. BUT THAT’S OUR REALITY AT THIS MOMENT. NOW, WILL ROGERS DIDN’T HAVE A COMMENT ON THIS INCIDENT. TSA DIDN’T RESPOND TO OUR REQUEST FOR COMMENT ABOUT HOW THAT AMMO WAS MISSED. NOW, RYAN’S NEXT COURT DATE IS IN TURKS AND CAICOS ON JUNE 7TH. COMING UP TONIGHT AT TEN. WE HAVE MORE FROM THAT EMOTIONAL INTERVIEW ABOUT HOW HUNDREDS OF PEOPLE NOW HAVE STEPPED UP TO HELP THIS LOCA

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'We are not bad people': Oklahoma couple describes being detained in Turks and Caicos

Valerie and Ryan Watson's Turks and Caicos vacation turned into a nightmare after hunting bullets were unknowingly left in their bag

An Oklahoma man facing serious charges in Turks and Caicos walked out of jail on bond, but he still can't come home. | MORE | Nightmare vacation for Oklahoma couple leaves husband behind bars Valerie Watson hugged her children for the first time in weeks on Tuesday, but her husband, Ryan, remains stuck on the islands after a vacation turned into a nightmare. Valerie said she and Ryan went to Turks and Caicos for a 40th birthday celebration, and they were supposed to come home on Friday, April 12. But four bullets found in their luggage kept that from happening. "Everything was in that bag from the moment we left our house. It went through security in OKC. It never got flagged through TSA," Valerie said. The excitement of coming home to see their children after the vacation quickly turned to chaos when security flagged the couple's carry-on bag. "They pull out a little tiny Ziplock bag, and it had something gold in it. I couldn’t tell what it was," Valerie said. "I looked at Ryan and asked, I said, 'What are those?' And he was like, ‘I think those are my hunting, deer hunting, bullets.'"Valerie said they had no idea the bullets were there, and they were left in there from a previous hunting trip. The situation is a serious crime in Turks and Caicos, and the couple was detained. Since then, two different locals put up "surety bonds," so they didn't have to stay behind bars. One of the locals was their driver during the vacation, and the other was a local restaurant owner whom they didn't know."The fact that these people are willing to help us in this situation is so humbling because they’re complete strangers to us, and they’re taking a huge risk," Valerie said. "I just want people to know that we are not bad people. This was truly an honest mistake. Ryan is really a responsible gun owner. He really is. We have a safe. Everything is always locked up. It truly was an oversight." >> Download the KOCO 5 AppWhile Ryan is out on bail, his wife said his future is unclear, and he could face 12 years in jail. "It's hard to imagine that four hunting rounds can land Ryan in prison for 12 years. I can't even fathom that that is our reality, but that's our reality at this moment," Valerie said. Will Rogers World Airport said they have no comment on this. “TSA is conducting a review at OKC, which was the originating airport. We are aware of an incident in Turks and Caicos involving a U.S. citizen and refer you to law enforcement authorities in Turks and Caicos for more information," TSA said in a statement. Ryan's next court date is June 7. Top Headlines Oklahoma mom reunites with kids after nightmare vacation leaves her husband behind bars TIMELINE: First round of severe storms with hail risk moves in on Wednesday 'Never expected this': Yukon neighborhood shocked by family massacre Investigation continues after man shoots, kills wife and 3 children at Yukon home: What we know 104-year-old time capsule found and salvaged during a school demolition project has been opened

An Oklahoma man facing serious charges in Turks and Caicos walked out of jail on bond, but he still can't come home.

| MORE | Nightmare vacation for Oklahoma couple leaves husband behind bars

Valerie Watson hugged her children for the first time in weeks on Tuesday, but her husband, Ryan, remains stuck on the islands after a vacation turned into a nightmare. Valerie said she and Ryan went to Turks and Caicos for a 40th birthday celebration, and they were supposed to come home on Friday, April 12.

But four bullets found in their luggage kept that from happening.

"Everything was in that bag from the moment we left our house. It went through security in OKC. It never got flagged through TSA," Valerie said.

The excitement of coming home to see their children after the vacation quickly turned to chaos when security flagged the couple's carry-on bag.

"They pull out a little tiny Ziplock bag, and it had something gold in it. I couldn’t tell what it was," Valerie said. "I looked at Ryan and asked, I said, 'What are those?' And he was like, ‘I think those are my hunting, deer hunting, bullets.'"

Valerie said they had no idea the bullets were there, and they were left in there from a previous hunting trip.

The situation is a serious crime in Turks and Caicos, and the couple was detained.

Since then, two different locals put up "surety bonds," so they didn't have to stay behind bars. One of the locals was their driver during the vacation, and the other was a local restaurant owner whom they didn't know.

"The fact that these people are willing to help us in this situation is so humbling because they’re complete strangers to us, and they’re taking a huge risk," Valerie said. "I just want people to know that we are not bad people. This was truly an honest mistake. Ryan is really a responsible gun owner. He really is. We have a safe. Everything is always locked up. It truly was an oversight."

>> Download the KOCO 5 App

While Ryan is out on bail, his wife said his future is unclear, and he could face 12 years in jail.

"It's hard to imagine that four hunting rounds can land Ryan in prison for 12 years. I can't even fathom that that is our reality, but that's our reality at this moment," Valerie said.

Will Rogers World Airport said they have no comment on this.

“TSA is conducting a review at OKC, which was the originating airport. We are aware of an incident in Turks and Caicos involving a U.S. citizen and refer you to law enforcement authorities in Turks and Caicos for more information," TSA said in a statement.

Ryan's next court date is June 7.

Top Headlines

  • Oklahoma mom reunites with kids after nightmare vacation leaves her husband behind bars
  • TIMELINE: First round of severe storms with hail risk moves in on Wednesday
  • 'Never expected this': Yukon neighborhood shocked by family massacre
  • Investigation continues after man shoots, kills wife and 3 children at Yukon home: What we know
  • 104-year-old time capsule found and salvaged during a school demolition project has been opened
'We are not bad people': Oklahoma couple describes being detained in Turks and Caicos (2024)

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