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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Middle District of Florida

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, March 11, 2016

Cruise Ship Employee Sentenced To 10 Years For Drug Smuggling

Tampa, Florida – U.S. District Judge Richard A. Lazzara today sentenced Desrick Gordon (23, St. Vincent and the Grenadines) to 10 years in federal prison for conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute 5 kilograms or more of cocaine. The Court also ordered him to forfeit $53,369, which is traceable to proceeds of the offense.  A jury found Gordon guilty on December 16, 2015.

According to evidence presented at trial, Gordon was part of a drug distribution ring that imported cocaine from Roatan, Honduras using cruise ship employees at several ports of call in the United States. Gordon, along with five other crewmen from Norwegian Cruise Line, received packages of cocaine from a source of supply in Honduras while the cruise ship was docked there. The packages ranged from 750 grams to a full kilogram of cocaine.

Once the ship had docked in Tampa, the crewmen gathered at a restaurant near the port to remove their secreted cocaine packages. They then met with two local drug traffickers, who had ties to the Honduran source of supply, to provide them with the packages of cocaine. The two local traffickers were stopped by law enforcement after leaving the Channelside District. Agents seized 10 packages of cocaine with a total weight of more than 7.5 kilograms. In addition, agents seized $53,369 from the crewmen. 

“The strong sentencing in this case is the culmination of great investigative casework conducted by Homeland Security Investigations special agents and highlights our joint efforts with our many law enforcement partners to keep our communities safe by preventing criminals from transporting dangerous narcotics into our country,” said Susan L. McCormick, special agent in charge of HSI Tampa.

This case was investigated by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations. It was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Shauna S. Hale and Gregory Nolan.

Topic(s): 
Drug Trafficking
Component(s): 
Updated March 11, 2016