Federal and local agents with K-9 dogs raided the MSC Poesia earlier this week looking to arrest passengers with drugs.
The Orlando Sentinel reports that officers from U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, the U.S.Marshals Service, the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, and the Broward Sheriff's Office participated in the raid.
The raid targeted the cruise ship right at Port Everglades in Fort Lauderdale before it sailed with music fans on its Jam Fest cruise around the Caribbean. The raid resulted in the arrest of some passengers and the seizure of small quantities of pot, mushrooms, hash oil, LSD, Ecstasy, and prescription drugs as well as unspecified drug paraphernalia.
It sounds like this was a raid targeting the music fans on the belief (hope) that they brought drugs aboard for the Jam Fest cruise. But it sounds like the seizure was just small amounts of recreational drugs.
The real problem with drugs on cruise ships is when crime cartels use cruise ships to smuggle large quantities of cocaine and heroin. Early this week a story broke indicating that "Drug Gangs Target Cruise Ships." The article mentioned that that "gangs are placing couriers on board ships, and also attempting to corrupt crewmembers, in order to bring in "multi-kilo loads" of drugs." Eight eastern Europeans were recently sentenced in England after being convicted of attempting to smuggle over 75 pounds of cocaine (worth millions of dollars) ashore from the MSC Orchestra when it arrived in Dover from Brazil last year.
Last week three Royal Caribbean crew members from the Enchantment of the Seas were arrested smugging drugs into Baltimore.
As Gadling points out, all the DEA and drug sniffing dogs accomplished during the overblown raid on the Jam Fest cruise was to make sure that there would be no high times on the high seas . . .
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