WFTV-9 (ABC) reports that four women were arrested on charges of smuggling cocaine weighing a little over 6.5 kilograms at Port Canaveral last month after taking a cruise on Royal Caribbean’s Freedom of the Seas.
The local ABC news station identified Lakisha Abney, Shawnta Aiken, Ciera Bryant and Shenique Milbourne as cruise passengers who departed on a seven-night Western Caribbean cruise last month. When the Royal Caribbean cruise ship arrived back at Port Canaveral on May 15, U.S. Customs officials reportedly discovered five vacuum sealed packages of cocaine in Ms. Bryant’ bra and girdle.
The Customs officials searched Ms. Bryant after noticing that her voice and hands were shaking and she was not making eye contact. The officials then searched Ms. Abney, Ms. Aiken and Ms. Milbourne who Ms. Bryant identified as her traveling companions. The officials reportedly found several vacuum-sealed packages containing cocaine in each of the women’s bras and girdles.
The four women from the Washington D.C. and Maryland area are seen on Facebook posing for what appears to be a fun cruise.
The cruise in question called on Labadee Haiti, Falmouth Jamaica, George Town Grand Cayman and Cozumel Mexico. WPTV said that "while in Jamaica, the women met a man who gave them the cocaine and the bras and girdle to hide the drugs in."
In April, WFTV reported that two Royal Caribbean crew members were arrested for smuggling cocaine aboard the Freedom of the Seas into Port Canaveral.
October 20, 2016 Update: One of the four women who pleaded guilty was sentenced to eight years in prison.
Photo credit: Shawnta Aiken Facebook page.
Story and video credit: WFTV-8 (ABC)
December 15, 2016 Update: A fifth woman has been implicated in the drug smuggling.