U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement say that four woman, Lakisha Abney, Shawnta Aiken, Ciera Bryant and Shenique Milbourne, were arrested on May 25, 2016, for smuggling cocaine inside their bras and girdles.
The four women, from the Washington D.C. area, had just disembarked from Royal Caribbean’s Freedom of the Seas in Port Canaveral, when a U.S. Customs Officer decided to pat down Bryant. This decision was made after the officer observed that her hands and voice were shaking, and she wasn’t making eye contact. Bryant was asked if she was traveling with anyone else. She said that she was traveling with three other people who, the officer noted, were all wearing loose-fitting muumuus.
Bryant was found with five vacuum packed packages of cocaine inside her bra and girdle. Officers took the other three women into bag inspection, where they were patted down. Officers found more vacuum sealed packages of cocaine in their bras and girdles, too.
According to an arrest affidavit, a man who Milbourne knew offered her an opportunity for a free cruise with the three other women, which she accepted. Milbourne said she was under the impression that it was just a “girl’s trip.”
According to Milbourne, she was told to send her information to Abney to book the cruise. Milbourne claimed that she knew Aiken, but not Abney or Bryant.
While in Jamaica, the four women reportedly met a man who gave them the cocaine and the bras and girdles to smuggle the cocaine back into the U.S.
All of the woman had their own stories.
Abney said a friend of hers booked the cruise, but she did not remember the person’s name.
Aiken said she thought she was going on vacation and was told that she was going to be wearing a “gift” upon her return.
Bryant claimed that Abney asked her for $2,000 to go on a cruise and bring back a “small gift.”
Milbourne said she did not sign up to be involved with drugs and did not know that she was going to be a “mule” until they were out at sea.
Officers said the total weight of cocaine found on the women was 6.668 kilograms.
The women were charged with conspiracy to import a controlled substance into the United States.
This is not the first time this has happened. Many cruise passengers and crew members have tried to smuggle drugs into the United States from other countries.