Two Georgia deputies found themselves in the custody of Mexican police after officials say they brought their guns across the border for their own safety.
Crisp County Sheriff’s deputies Martelle and Shawana Davis were arrested Thursday, Aug. 23, while vacationing in Cancun, station FOX 31 reported. The couple was held by Mexican Authorities Federal Public Ministry, where they were charged with possessions of weapons, magazines and ammunition.
The weapons were found in their baggage during a customs check, officials said.
Martelle, 36, and Shawana, 31, have since been released on bond and are back home in the U.S. The Crisp County Sheriff’s Office has launched an internal investigation into the incident.
“After working closely with officials in the U.S. and Mexico to resolve the issue, the two were released late Saturday,” Crisp County Sheriff Billy Hancock said in a statement. “I can’t thank all those on a State and Federal level who took my phone calls to assist enough. Each one played an important role in the release of these two deputies.”
“Our prayers have been answered,” he added.
According to 13 WMAZ, Shawana recently joined the agency as a School Resource Officer while Martelle has been with the Sheriff’s Office since 2014.
Hancock said while the two did not break agency policy, they violated Mexican law by bringing firearms into the country. He said the couple took guns with them on their trip because of the uptick in homicides in tourist resort areas.
Just last week, the State Department issued a travel warning after eight bodies — two of which were dismembered and placed in plastic bags — were discovered in Cancun. The two bodies were found dumped in different locations while four others were individually shot to death, according to USA TODAY. It’s unclear where the other two bodies were found.
“They’re certified law enforcement officers,” Hancock said of his deputies. “They’re trained to protect people, so they carried their weapons with them thinking in their minds that they are going to do what they do every day. Protect people and protect myself.”