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CBP Arrests Two Passengers for Cocaine Smuggling Aboard MSC Seascape

Submitted by kgnadmin on

U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers conducted a successful enforcement operation onboard the cruise ship MSC Seascape upon its arrival at the Port of Miami on July 23. The operation led to the apprehension of two individuals attempting to smuggle a significant quantity of cocaine into the United States.

During the operation, CBP officers encountered two sisters, identified as Herdedr and Parker, who were sailing aboard the ship as passengers. After observing suspicious behavior, officers instructed the individuals to bring their belongings for a secondary inspection. To assist in the investigation, law enforcement utilized a trained narcotics detection canine, which promptly alerted to the odor of narcotics emanating from a suitcase belonging to Parker.

Both sisters were then escorted to a secondary inspection area at the Port of Miami, each carrying their respective luggage. A thorough search revealed hidden compartments in backpacks belonging to both suspects. Inside the backpacks, officers found four packages of a white powdery substance, later confirmed to be cocaine, with a total weight of approximately 4.75 kilograms.

CBP officers reviewed security camera footage from the cruise ship, revealing HERDER and PARKER wearing dark-colored backpacks throughout various points of the trip, including stops in the Bahamas and Jamaica. The footage also showed them disembarking the ship while carrying the backpacks and later returning to the vessel with them.

During questioning, Herder claimed that she invited her sister, Parker, to join her on the cruise, and a friend helped pay for the trip. She denied knowledge of any narcotics in her backpack and stated that it felt heavier than she remembered after leaving it unattended briefly at a restaurant in Jamaica.

Parker stated that she joined her sister on the cruise, and Herder’s friend offered her a bag to carry towels and belongings in while they were in Jamaica. Parker denied any knowledge of narcotics in the backpack.

A preliminary review of Herder’s phone revealed multiple WhatsApp voice and video calls and messages with a phone number from Jamaica. Additionally, HERDER sent a message to a contact listed as "Scllenny Jamaica," expressing confusion about certain activities and stating she wanted no further involvement.

They were arrested and now face charges related to the attempted smuggling of narcotics into the United States.