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Virginia man gets 20-year prison sentence for smuggling drugs onboard cruise ship

The Maritime Executive

Royal Caribbean’s Cruise Ship Enchantment of the seas

After importing illegal drugs into Baltimore via Royal Caribbean’s Enchantment of the Seas, the heroin ring’s leader has been sentenced to 20 years in prison, reports federal prosecutors.

49-year-old Virginia resident, Loxly Johnson, was the last suspect to be sentenced in the plot that had Baltimore’s shores riddled with international drug trafficking. His conviction was the result of a four-day trial in the U.S. District Court, Baltimore. Another female accomplice was sentenced to one year, and three Caribbean men were sentenced to time served awaiting trial.

The court testimonies reveal that the alleged suspects retrieved cocaine and heroin from the Dominican Republic. U.S. customs officers set up an inspection when the cruise ship arrived in port in Baltimore in mid-December 2010. A security officer onboard tipped them off initially.

One man had heroin wrapped in silver duct tape in his pants and two comparable packages in his shoes. He was then instructed by officials to call a drug source and set up a meeting in a Wal-Mart parking lot in South Baltimore. Authorities surveillanced the exchange and proceeded to make arrests.

The Enchantment of the Seas started operating in Baltimore in the summer of 2009 and holds about 2,250 passengers. Two of the suspects worked in the ship’s galley, where they were mainly out of the view of passengers.

The Baltimore Sun reports that three weeks after this bust, customs officials found another drug stash aboard the same ship – $94,000 worth of heroin and cocaine hidden in an employee locker. The ship had just returned from a 12-night trip to ports in the Caribbean, including Haiti, the Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico and the British Virgin Islands. No arrests were made in that case.

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A Moment with the Registrar of Lands

The Maritime Executive

Royal Caribbean’s Cruise Ship Enchantment of the seas

After importing illegal drugs into Baltimore via Royal Caribbean’s Enchantment of the Seas, the heroin ring’s leader has been sentenced to 20 years in prison, reports federal prosecutors.

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49-year-old Virginia resident, Loxly Johnson, was the last suspect to be sentenced in the plot that had Baltimore’s shores riddled with international drug trafficking. His conviction was the result of a four-day trial in the U.S. District Court, Baltimore. Another female accomplice was sentenced to one year, and three Caribbean men were sentenced to time served awaiting trial.

The court testimonies reveal that the alleged suspects retrieved cocaine and heroin from the Dominican Republic. U.S. customs officers set up an inspection when the cruise ship arrived in port in Baltimore in mid-December 2010. A security officer onboard tipped them off initially.

One man had heroin wrapped in silver duct tape in his pants and two comparable packages in his shoes. He was then instructed by officials to call a drug source and set up a meeting in a Wal-Mart parking lot in South Baltimore. Authorities surveillanced the exchange and proceeded to make arrests.

The Enchantment of the Seas started operating in Baltimore in the summer of 2009 and holds about 2,250 passengers. Two of the suspects worked in the ship’s galley, where they were mainly out of the view of passengers.

The Baltimore Sun reports that three weeks after this bust, customs officials found another drug stash aboard the same ship – $94,000 worth of heroin and cocaine hidden in an employee locker. The ship had just returned from a 12-night trip to ports in the Caribbean, including Haiti, the Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico and the British Virgin Islands. No arrests were made in that case.