Smugglers Busted on a Cruise Ship
Date: January 06, 2005
Cruise Line: Carnival Cruise Lines
Cruise Ship: Celebration
Drugs: Cocaine, Marijuana, Ecstasy
Amount: See list below
Value: Several thousand dollars
Number Arrested: 11
Details: Authorities were tipped off by online chatter in a forum/chatroom, that there were going to be a lot of passengers smuggling drugs on this particular cruise. Police showed up during boarding to do a shake down of passengers, and netted quite a haul. While loose lips are known to sink ships, in this case loose lips protected a ship.
Authorities tested luggage and passengers on the Carnival Celebration, which was docked at the Ed Austin Cruise Terminal to drop off passengers and pick up new ones for Jam Cruise 3. The drugs, were found under clothing, with the assistance of K-9 teams, according to arrest reports.
It was noted that as word passed down the boarding line, people further back in the line were scrambling to dump substances into trash cans. It is estimate that a large number of drugs reached trash cans and public restrooms toilets nearby, so that passengers could avoid detection, and board the ship successfully. Those in the front of the line, were not as successful. According to police reports Jacksonville Sheriffs along with U.S. Customs arrested the following cruise ship passengers during boarding.
Ecstacy Facts: Source: DEA.Gov - Club Drugs Information
The U.S DEA has launched an enforcement and national awareness campaign focused on Ecstasy and other synthetic drugs. "Operation X-Out" targets the increasingly popular drug Ecstasy along with drugs that have become known as "predatory drugs" because they have been used to facilitate sexual assault. Learn more about this class of drugs - here
PUTTING THE ARRESTS ABOVE INTO PERSPECTIVE
ECSTASY - Felony Conviction All States
NON-USER'S GUIDE TO U.S. ILLEGAL DRUGS - 2005
A typical dose of ecstasy is 1/8th to 1/10th of a gram.
A gram of ecstasy is sold for $100US to $250US.
One dose is sold for $10US to $25US
Distributing any “controlled substance” such as Ecstasy or any “controlled substance analogue” such as GHB (Fantasy) to a person without their knowledge with the intent to commit a crime of violence, including rape, is a federal offense punishable by 20 years in prison. Under Florida law, having sex with a person dosed without their consent constitutes sexual battery or rape punishable by 30 years in prison and a $10,00.00 fine. Ecstasy (MDMA), GHG, and 1,4 Butanediol. Effective October 1, 2000, Florida law has significantly increased the penalties for possession, delivery, “bringing into this state,” sales, manufacture, and purchase of Ecstasy (MDMA) and 12 related phenethlamines, GHB, and 1,4 Butanediol. The least serious offense of simply possession is a third-degree felony punishable by five (5) years in prison and a $5,000.00 fine. Possession of more than 10 grams of Ecstasy, roofies, or heroin is a first-degree felony punishable by 30 years in prison and a $10,000.00 fine.
COCAINE - Felony Conviction All States
A typical dose of cocaine is 1/30th of a gram .
A gram of cocaine is sold for $250US to $475US.
One dose is sold for around $10US to $20US.
Possession of fewer than 28 grams of cocaine is a third-degree felony. Third degree conviction is punished by a term of imprisonment not exceeding five years and/or a fine of $5000
MARIJUANA - Felony Varies By State Based On Quantity
A typical marijuana cigarette contains between 0.5 and 1.0 grams of cannabis. Marijuana costs patients with prescriptions on average $11.80US per gram Cannabis and all other illegal drugs are classified and regulated in Chapter 893, Drug Abuse Prevention and Control, Florida Statutes. Most simple possession charges are third-degree felonies punishable by five (5) years in prison and a $5,000.00 fine. Possession of less than 20 grams of cannabis is a first-degree misdemeanor punishable by one (1) year in jail and a $1,000.00 fine. Use or possession of any drug paraphernalia with the intent to use is a first-degree misdemeanor punishable by one (1) year in jail and a $1,000.00 fine.
Dr. Matthew D. Pate DDS, 38,
Kokomo, Indiana dentist
18 hits of ecstasy, small quantity of marijuana.
John Peter Schneider, 30,
four grams of cocaine
Christopher Kew Wong, 40,
Fort Lauderdale, Florida, telecommunications salesman
12 small baggies of heroin
Steven M. Beatty, 35,
Portland Oregon ten grams marijuana, glass pipe
Kaleb E. Simpson, 28,
Manassas, Virginia, landscaper
Matthew Lansing Swift, 29,
Chicago, Illinois, engineer
Paul Abrahan Levine, 35,
Quincy, Florida, a restaurateur
13-grams ecstasy powder,
8-grams of cocaine
Jonathan Mayer Lipschutz, 37,
San Francisco, an audiologist,
David Ognibene, 23,
26-grams of marijuana
Joseph Francis Grasso, 41
St. Louis, Missouri, manager
19 grams marijuana
Bethany Lynn (Valachovic) Waldo, 26,
Fayetteville, Arkansas accountant
two grams of marijuana, pipe