NASCAR Driver Kyle Busch Says He Was Detained at Mexican Airport After Gun Found in His Luggage
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Kyle Busch has spoken out after he was detained in Mexico when authorities found a handgun in his bag at an airport last month.
The NASCAR driver shared via Twitter on Monday that he and his wife Samantha had holidayed in Mexico when he was stopped as they tried to head back to the United States.
"When departing the country, my handgun was flagged during routine screening at the airport," he wrote. "I have a valid concealed carry permit from my local authority and adhere to all handgun laws, but I made a mistake by forgetting it was in my bag."
He said after authorities found the handgun, he was "detained while the situation was resolved."
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— Kyle Busch (@KyleBusch) February 6, 2023
He said he didn't know all of the rules in Mexico and didn't mean to bring the handgun into the country.
"When it was discovered, I fully cooperated with the authorities, accepted the penalties, and returned to North Carolina," he continued.
He concluded, "I apologize for my mistake and appreciate the respect shown by all parties as we resolved the matter. My family and I consider this issue closed."
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The Mexico Prosecutor General's Office addressed the incident in a press release on Friday, Feb. 3, stating that a man named Kyle Thomas "B" was arrested on Jan. 27 - Busch's middle name is Thomas - at Cancun airport.
He was arrested for "the commission of the crime of carrying a firearm without a license and possession of cartridges for the exclusive use of the Armed Forces."
It added, "The detainee, who is originally from the State of Nevada, intended to travel to the United States of America, but when passing his luggage through the RX of the platform, a caliber pistol-type firearm was detected inside."
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Per the Mexican authority, he was sentenced to 3 1/2 years in prison and fined more than 20,000 pesos (equivalent to nearly $1,100).
Busch did not address the prison sentence and it is not clear how he will serve that aspect of his punishment.
A rep did not immediately respond to PEOPLE's request for comment.
Busch's announcement comes a day after he placed third at in the Busch Light Clash at the Coliseum on Sunday, per Fox News.
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He recently joined Richard Childress Racing at the end of the 2022 season. He previously raced for Joe Gibbs Racing, the outlet added.