U.S. Senator Bill Nelson wants answers about three incidents in the past two years where Americans were arrested at Caribbean airports.
In all three incidents, the Americans were jailed after a single bullet was found in their luggage as they set to return home.
On back-to-back days, on April 25th and 26th, an American was leaving the Providenciales International Airport in the Turks and Caicos. In both cases, their luggage was taken by security out of their sight.
Security officials then came back and showed them a bullet they said came from their luggage.
Dr. Horace Norrell from Sarasota was jailed for three days in a windowless cell with no lights. He had to pay $4,000 bail to get out, and he still has to face a judge in the Turks and Caicos on June 7th.
PREVIOUS COVERAGE: Sarasota doctor goes from paradise to prison
The day before, a Texas business woman underwent a similar encounter. She also must face a judge in June.
And Senator Nelson is bringing attention to a third case from July of 2011, where a Boy Scout leader from the Kansas City area was arrested in the Bahamas.
Darrell Lapp, of Liberty, MO, went for a diving trip with 11 boys and 10 adults in Freeport, Bahamas. During a routine security check, airport screeners found a bullet in his fanny pack. Lapp spent three days in a Bahamian jail.
LINK: More on Lapp's story
Last week, Nelson sent a letter to John Dinkelman, Charge' d'Affaires for the American Embassy in Nassau. He has now followed that up with a letter to Ambassador Janice Jacobs, with the U.S. State Department. Senator Nelson is concerned there is a shakedown of American tourists going on.
"The treatment of American citizens as they travel internationally remains a serious concern of mine," Senator Nelson said in the letter.
Dr. Norrell had planned to speak to the media about his ordeal in April. But he became ill over the weekend from stress related to his time in the jail, according to his attorney.
FOX 13 / WTVT-TV
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