Two sisters embarked on what seemed to be a relaxing vacation on a luxury cruise ship. The weeklong excursion took the sisters through exotic tropical spots such as the Bahamas, Jamaica, and Mexico. But the purpose of their trip turned out to be the farthest thing from innocent fun.
The sisters were caught with several kilos of cocaine discreetly tucked away in the lining of their travel backpacks. The discovery was made after a federal investigator filed a complaint against the women and a drug-sniffing canine led authorities to the 4.75 kilos of the white powdery substance. According to a complaint filed by the investigator, the siblings boarded the MSC Seascape Cruise Ship in the Port of Miami on July 16, and when the vessel returned to Miami on July 23 Us Customs and Border Protection were there waiting for the women.
Official documents detail how CBP officers conducted an “enforcement operation” that ended with the two sisters in police custody. While it is not currently known what prompted the search, the sisters were told to hand their luggage over to officers for an inspection. A highly trained canine unit that specializes in narcotic detection was brought in to conduct the search, and the animal was able to confirm that the women were in possession of illegal drugs. The police dog “exhibited a change in behavior and alerted to the odor of narcotics” and that led to investigators conducting a more thorough search through their bags.
The large amount of cocaine was found sewn into the inside lining of their backpacks. Each bag contained two packages of cocaine. Between the pair of sisters, authorities uncovered 4.75 kilos of cocaine, which has an estimated value of $15,000 to $40,000. The sisters maintained their innocence and claimed to not know how the cocaine got sewn inside their backpacks. In a bid to save herself from serious time behind bars, one of the women told investigators that they met up with friends in Jamaica who offered them the bags to carry their belongings in. According to the woman, she “did not notice anything suspicious about the bag because she did not see anything inside it.”
Security footage showed the women leaving the ship together on July 19 only to return separately later that day. In the surveillance video, the women can be seen wearing backpacks that were full of cocaine. Further investigation showed that one of the women was suspiciously texting someone listed as “Kenny Jamaica” on her phone, telling the person, “I don’t know what u doing but am not doing it no more so whatever u got going on let it stop playing with me and now you not going to pick up the phone.”
Despite looking very guilty, both women insist that they were not paid to smuggle drugs into the country. The sisters have been accused of importing a controlled substance, though no charges have been filed as the investigation continues.