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 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.
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Photo Credit: Hillsborough County Sherrif's Office