The Royal Gazette newspaper in Bermuda reports today on what has become a routine activity when a U.S. based cruise ships arrives in port - Bermuda Customs officials taking sniffer dogs aboard U.S. based cruise ships and arresting cruise passengers for a small quantity of drugs.
This week Bermuda Customs officers boarded the Royal Caribbean Explorer of the Seas and Carnival Pride cruise ships and conducted random searches of passenger cabins before arresting two passengers from New York. The big bust? One passenger had just 1.5 grams of pot and 0.7 grams of cocaine. Can you even get high on 1.5 grams of reefer?
The other passenger had 13 grams of pot.
One contrite busted passenger told Senior Magistrate Judge Archibald Warner "I didn’t have any intention selling it or smoking it on your Island.” The Magistrate was unimpressed and fined the twp passengers a total of $2,400.
Busting American passengers for small amounts of drugs is big, big business in Bermuda. We have written about it time after time. You can read our articles about the crooked way of Bermuda and minor drug busts below:
Magistrate Warner chastised prosecutors last year for conducting searches of passengers cabins without probable cause or a search warrant. He raised the issue whether cruise ship pot busts are legal, "described it as “vexing” and “embarrassing” that tourists are charged for having small quantities of cannabis."
The Magistrate made these comments as he sentenced a 28 year old crewmember from Royal Caribbean's Explorer of the Seas a 12-month conditional discharge for possessing 5g of pot.
But it looks like Magistrate Warner is now part of the official machinery in Bermuda for processing small time pot heads to increase customs revenues for the island.
Meanwhile the Captain of the Bermuda-flagged cruise ship, the Star Princess, operated by Bermuda incorporated Princess Cruises, remains free to sail the world notwithstanding sailing by three fishermen 100 miles off the coast of Panama. The captain's I-didn't-know defense stinks. 2 young men are dead and their bodies are missing at sea.
Too bad that Bermuda focuses its limited resources on cruise ship passengers who use small time recreational drugs, rather than on Bermuda incorporated cruise lines which engage in intentional dereliction of duty leading to death of young men on the high seas.