NCL Crew Members Arrested for Smuggling Cocaine from Roatan to Tampa

What's the easiest way to move cocaine from Colombia to the United States? Taking it through the jungle in Honduras and then through Belize or Guatemala to Mexico and then across the border to the U.S.? No, that's too much work. How about just putting it on a U.S. based cruise ship in the Caribbean and sailing the coke to a port in Florida?

That what a handful of crew members working for Norwegian Cruise Line (NCL) apparently thought and allegedly did. 

Five NCL crew members on the Norwegian Sun were arrested in Tampa when the cruise NCL Roatan Cruise Cocaine ship returned from Roatan where the crew members picked up the drugs. The Tampa Bay Times identified the crew members as Jason Leon Carmichael (photo right)(age 21), Arkine John (21), Alfred Kernel Ince (24), Teffan Delice (29), and Johnson Cherubin, (30). The Hillsborough County booking records indicate that they work for NCL as utility workers in the Norwegian Sun's galley. 

You can see photos of the other utility cruise ship workers on our Facebook page here.

The Tampa Bay Times said that four of the crew members concealed seven kilograms of cocaine in spandex underwear.  The newspaper also says that the knuckle-headed men made the "mistake of appearing unduly anxious on cell phones Sunday outside a port-side Hooters restaurant, inviting surveillance from Homeland Security Investigations agents."

Later two women arrived to pick up the dope from the cruise line dopes. The women were later apprehended driving on Interstate 75 by the Pasco County Sherrif's office. The women were identified as Simone Natoya Walters (34) and Semarie Gailann Paul (39). 

The crew members reportedly were found with around $50,000 in cash on them and Western Union receipts showing they had wired money to other unidentified persons. 

Cocaine sells on the streets of Florida for around $20,000 to $30,000 a kilo. A cruise ship utility galley member earns around $600 a month.    

Have a thought? Please leave a comment below or join the discussion on our Facebook page.

 

Photo Credit: Hillsborough County Sherrif's Office 

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Comments (14) Read through and enter the discussion with the form at the end
Clifford Dunn - March 11, 2015 5:30 PM

This is truly Sad. They had it made and threw it all away, what a waste. I wish that I worked for the ship I love to travel and I am a hard worker.

Annelee James - March 11, 2015 11:04 PM

How does Jim Walker know this drugs was loaded in ROATAN??
We the people of Roatan is tired of his negative comment

Will Welbourn - March 11, 2015 11:45 PM

Another sickening criminal act committed by foreigners! They were not US paper holders i assume?

Jim Walker - March 11, 2015 11:49 PM

Annelee:

The Tampa Tribune reports:

"Customs officials searched Carmichael, John, Ince and Delice as they made their way back to the ship, and found thousands of dollars and Western Union receipts for currency transfers, records show. The men admitted to officials that they had picked up the packages March 3 in Roatan, Honduras, and smuggled them aboard the ship in their Spandex underwear, the affidavit said."

Honduras is a well known thoroughfare for cocaine from Colombia heading to the U.S.

Roatan has been an integral part of the cocaine trade. International drug trafficker Carlos Arnoldo Lobo, alias "El Negro," owned multiple properties in Roatan where he ran his criminal drug empire shipping cocaine from Colombia before he went into hiding.

There is no real security at the port in Roatan. Cocaine smuggling is regular business there.

Jim Walker - March 11, 2015 11:52 PM

Will:

Please tell us where the five NCL crew members are from.

None of them are U.S. citizens.

Sabrina P. - March 12, 2015 12:47 PM

Almost no crew member on any of the NCL's vessels is a US rezident or citizen. FYI they are all coming from low paid wage coutries with working contract for several months. This way the company can pay them low compensations and overwork them, without complains. Also, they are paid from the passangers' tips and this way the company pais no contribution to the SS or FICA or Medicare. Food for thought. ..

chad victor - March 12, 2015 1:37 PM

Your"ll not paying the guys no money thts wi the guys doing tht

Billy Concern - March 12, 2015 1:52 PM

Oh my god Jim - drugs in Roatan, drugs in the US - you make a good point on where not to go Jim. I must know - have you found a safe place for us all to go - with NO drugs, NO crime, NO roughhousing and we can all just sit around and hold hands ?????? Please tell me ????? You have me so scared to even leave my house - please help me Jim ??????

Jim Walker - March 12, 2015 2:09 PM

Billy:

Your IP address shows you are in Guatemala. I would avoid vacating there too as a family. Murder rate sky high. Corrupt police. Frightened judges, attorneys and reporters. Drugs everywhere.

Angelo Nemphis - March 13, 2015 8:44 AM

Dear Will

Please explain what citizenship has to do with anything here? You make as if US passport holders don't get involved with criminal activities as well. oh well... racist troglodytes are not fully-functioning-brain-holders I assume?

Jack - March 13, 2015 9:30 AM

Guatemala even has it's on wikipedia page for crime.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Crime_in_Guatemala

MD - March 13, 2015 5:11 PM

Alrhough what these guys did is dispicable the question must be asked as to why they did it? Getting paid 600 a month is the equivalent of making 7200 a year. Nobody can live with that here in the States. Yet another example of why are trade laws are not equal. The fact that NCL can pay these employees so little and get away with it is wrong. Another example of Big Business not doing what is right.

The real problem here is not the crime these guys commited we can all agree on that but the bigger question is would they have commited the crime if they had been paid comparable wages

American - March 13, 2015 7:11 PM

To Will Welbourn:

As a person who was born, raised, and still lives here in the USA but has friends from all over the world - I find your comment to be biased. I think you should take a look at how much crime is committed here by other people born and raised here. If you think drug traffickers, or criminals in general, are all from foreign countries - you're sorely mistaken, and pretty prejudiced.

John Gotti was born in New York and held US papers. Frank Lucas - the focus of the movie "American Gangster" - was as American as they come. The list goes on and on. Dutch Schultz... Nicky Barnes... Freeway Ricky Ross... take your pick.

Please stop acting as if crime in America is committed solely by people from other countries. Instead, let's keep in mind the THOUSANDS of ship employees who work enthusiastically and honestly to earn a living, regardless where they are from, and never break the rules.

monica - March 16, 2015 9:01 PM

how much years did they give them in jail

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