MEXICO CITY, Mexico (AP) — Kyle Busch revealed this week that he was arrested late last month at a Mexican airport after a weapon and ammo were discovered in his luggage. He apologised and called the incident a “mistake.”
A judge in the Mexican state of Quintana Roo, which includes the beach resorts of Cancun and Tulum, sentenced Busch to three and a half years in prison and ordered him to pay a $1,000 fine for possessing a gun and ammunition earlier this month.
According to the federal attorney general’s office, the court decided that a conditional sentence was appropriate and released Busch after he posted bail. His payment amount will not be revealed by the office.
Busch, the most successful driver in the Cup Series and a two-time NASCAR champion, acknowledged the problem in a social media post on Monday. He explained, “I follow all handgun laws and have a valid concealed carry permit from my local authorities, but I made a mistake by leaving it in my backpack. When the pistol was discovered, I was arrested and held in custody until the case was resolved.
I had no intention of bringing a weapon into Mexico and was unfamiliar with Mexican law “Busch penned a piece. When it was discovered, I fully cooperated with the authorities, accepted the punishment, and left for North Carolina. I sincerely apologise for my error and appreciate everyone’s patience as we worked to find a solution. My family and I believe that this issue has been resolved.
According to a NASCAR spokeswoman, Busch reported the incident to the governing body on Tuesday and will not face any penalties. Busch finished third in his preseason debut for Richard Childress Racing on Sunday night at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum.
Richard Childress, the new owner of Busch Motorsports, is a well-known NRA figure and an avid hunter.
Busch was detained by the National Guard on January 27 after attempting to leave Cancun International Airport. A.380 calibre handgun with six hollow-point bullets was discovered in his luggage when it was scanned at the private plane terminal, according to the Attorney General’s Office.
Busch was sentenced on February 3 after appearing in court on January 29 and proving that the arrest was lawful.
The court will then hold a second hearing to determine the details of Busch’s conditional sentence and the location of his fine payment. He could avoid further incarceration.
The right to own a handgun and hunting rifles for self-defense and recreational purposes is guaranteed by Mexico’s constitution; however, obtaining a properly registered pistol is difficult, and the military is the only authorised supplier. However, there are a large number of illegal firearms in the country, the majority of which are purchased in the United States and illegally brought into Mexico.
Bullets were fired at Busch and his family at the Mall of America in suburban Minneapolis in August of last year. They exited the mall safely and without incident.