CHARLOTTE, N.C. — NASCAR driver Kyle Busch was convicted and sentenced by a Mexican judge for possessing a gun while on vacation in Cancún in January.
According to the Prosecutor General's Office in the Mexican state of Quintana Roo, "Kyle Thomas B" was arrested on Jan. 27 by the state's national guard after a handgun was discovered in his luggage at the Cancún International Airport.
Busch was attempting to fly back to the United States when the weapon was found. He was charged with carrying a firearm without a license and possessing cartridges that are of exclusive use for the Armed Forces.
Days later, Busch admitted to the crime and was sentenced to three-and-a-half years in prison by a Mexican judge. It is unclear how his sentence will be handled. He was also given a fine of 20,748 pesos.
Busch addressed the situation on social media on Monday, saying it was a "mistake."
"I was not aware of Mexican law and had no intention of bringing a handgun to Mexico," said Busch in a statement. "When it was discovered, I fully cooperated with the authorities, accepted the penalties, and returned to North Carolina."
Busch says he has a valid concealed carry permit but forgot the gun was in his luggage. He apologized for the mistake and says he considers the issue closed.
On Sunday, Busch competed in the Busch Light Clash at the Colesium in Los Angeles, finishing 3rd. Busch is in his first season with Richard Childress Racing piloting the No. 8 Chevrolet. Busch spent the last 15 seasons with Joe Gibbs Racing. He has won two NASCAR Cup Series championships and 60 races in his career.
The 2023 NASCAR Cup Series season officially begins on Feb. 19 with the Daytona 500.