Kyle Busch has confirmed reports that he was detained in Mexico last month when he brought a firearm into the country.
The two-time NASCAR Cup Series champion was at a private terminal in Cancun on January 27 and preparing to return home when the firearm was found. According to a statement by local authorities, Busch was arrested for carrying a .38 caliber handgun without a license, and possession of hollow point bullets. He was fined 20,748 pesos ($1,082) and sentenced to three years and six months in prison, although it is not clear how that might be served.
Busch’s statement, which was posted on social media, reads:
“In late January, Samantha and I enjoyed a several day vacation in Mexico. When departing the country, my handgun was flagged during routine screening at the airport. 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.
“Discovery of the handgun led to my detainment while the situation was resolved. I was not aware of Mexican law and had no intention of bringing a handgun into Mexico.
“When it was discovered, I fully cooperated with the authorities, accepted the penalties, and returned to North Carolina. 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.”
— Kyle Busch (@KyleBusch) February 6, 2023
Busch’s arrest follows a similar incident last year involving former Formula 1 boss Bernie Ecclestone, who was arrested when a firearm was discovered in his luggage when he was preparing to fly from Brazil to Switzerland.