Two deputies in south Georgia county have been captured and sent back to Georgia from Mexico after they entered that country with their service firearms.
Local news outlets report the Crisp County Sheriff Billy Hancock said the two deputies, who are married, Martelle and Shawana Davis traveled to Cancun Mexico where they allegedly packed their service firearms and ammunition in their luggage. Martelle, 36, and Shawana, 31, were taken into custody when the got off the flight to Mexico.
Sheriff Hancock stated that the deputies brought their guns as a safety measure after learning of recent killings reported in Cancun. On Aug. 22, the U.S. State Department on issued a level-2 travel warning for U.S. residents visiting Cancun.
The law in Mexico bans foreign travelers from entering the country with firearms in most situations, even if they are certified peace officers in another country. Hancock said the two deputies did not receive permission from his office and were not sure why they brought their weapons, but they did not receive authority from his office.
The couple was fined and returned to the U.S. on Monday morning after they were arrested Thursday night. Hancock says they didn’t violate his office’s policy allowing officers to carry their weapons while off duty.
Hancock praised local, state officials, and both of Georgia’s U.S. Senators for helping get the two deputies back to the United States.
The investigation is still ongoing with internal affairs. The sheriff has reported the incident to the Peace Officers Standards and Training Council (POST) which governs police officer standards of conduct and training.