Turks and Caicos

Turks and Caicos authorities drop gun charges against American tourists

 

jcharles@MiamiHerald.com

Charges have been dropped against two older American tourists arrested in the Turks and Caicos Islands after a bullet was found in each of their luggage on separate occasions as they prepared to depart.

Following a thorough investigation by the islands’ police that included a review of the available evidence and the circumstances, “it is the decision of the director of public prosecutions to discontinue the criminal proceedings,” according to authorities in the British dependent territory.

Congressman Bill Nelson, who has been demanding an expedited investigation, welcomed the decision. But the Florida Democrat also pointed out that 80-year-old retired neurosurgeon Horace Norrell of Florida and Texas businesswoman Cathy Sulledge-Davis, 60, had “to go through a horrible ordeal” in the island.

“I hope we can still find out how a bullet they say was not theirs got into their luggage,” he said.

In the past week, Nelson had written to U.S. officials at the State Department and the U.S. Embassy in the Bahamas, which oversees Turks and Caicos, expressing concern about the April arrests. He also demanded to know if there were other arrests under similar circumstances at other Caribbean airports, stating that the arrests raised “questions about whether there’s been a shakedown of American tourists” in the Turks and Caicos Islands.

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