As Cruise Bruise reported earlier, three cruise ship crew members Willard Bryan Murray Brooks, 28, Emil Arthur Hebbert Garth, 26, Jason William West Carter, 32, all from Nicaragua, were arrested in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, when Princess Cruises’ Island Princess docked on Tuesday, May 9, 2017.
The three crew members had just smuggled 10 kilograms of cocaine from Cartagena, Colombia. When the three crew arrived in Vancouver, they took the cocaine to the Pacific Centre food court, where they met a man, who took them to his car, and paid them US$30,000 in exchange for the cocaine.
The three men hid the $30,000 in their underwear and attempted to re-board Island Princess. Canada Border Services inspected the men and found the $30,000 in undeclared American cash. The $30,000 has a value of nearly nine million Nicaraguan Córdoba currency today. In Canadian dollars the value today is $40,428.60
The discovered undeclared cash, prompted a search of the crew member’s cabin, where Canada Border Services assisted by a Vancouver police canine unit, discovered another kilogram of cocaine in their cabin.
Canada Border Services has ordered the deportation of the three crew back to Nicaragua, so they escaped incarceration in a Canadian prison. The drug smugglers will be flown back to their native country, at Princess Cruises’ expense and the Canadian government gets to keep the $30,000, to assist with their drug interdiction efforts.
Under Canada Mandatory Minimum Penalties for Particular Drug Offences under the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act, the men faced only 2 years in prison for smuggling more than 1 kilogram of cocaine.
If they had been convicted in the United States, the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) sentence guideline allows for “Not less than 10 yrs. and not more than life.”