Federal Jury Finds Cruise Ship Employee Guilty Of Smuggling Cocaine Into The United States
Tampa, Florida – United States Attorney A. Lee Bentley, III announces that a federal jury has found Desrick Gordon (23, St. Vincent and the Grenadines) guilty of conspiracy to possess with the intent to distribute 5 kilograms or more of cocaine and possession with the intent to distribute 5 kilograms or more of cocaine. He faces a mandatory minimum sentence of 10 years, up to life, in federal prison. His sentencing hearing is scheduled for March 11, 2016. Gordon was indicted on August 21, 2015.
According to evidence presented at trial, Gordon was part of a drug distribution ring that imported cocaine into the United States from Roatan, Honduras using cruise ship employees at several ports 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 also seized more than $50,000 from the crewmen.
The five other cruise ship employees, Jason Carmichael, Teffan Delice, Johnson Cherubin, Alfred Ince, and Arkine John, previously pleaded guilty for their roles in this case. They will be sentenced in January 2016.
This case was investigated by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations. It is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Shauna S. Hale and Gregory Nolan.