Winston Hyman and Jimmel Thom of Broward County, Florida were arrested Sunday after they were accused of transporting cocaine off a cruise ship in Port Everglades, news sources indicate. Reports say both men were employees of the cruise ship, which is named Allure of the Seas. Hyman and Thom, both 25 years old, were booked into the Broward County Main Jail on charges of drug trafficking over one kilo of cocaine. A bail bond has not been set. It is not yet known whether either of the defendants has retained a private criminal defense lawyer.
The Allure of the Seas is a Florida cruise ship that operates under the cruise line Royal Caribbean International. The massive luxury ship, along with her sister ship the Oasis of the Seas, is one of the largest in existence. Both ships dock frequently at their homeport in Port Everglades, Florida. The ships also make port in other locations, including Mexico, Jamaica and Haiti. Reports say Hyman and Thom were employed as crewmembers on the Allure of the Seas prior to their arrest.
In this recent incident, the cruise ship had returned to Port Everglades after a round trip to several destinations, including Jamaica. Hyman and Thom were preparing to exit the vessel when security placed the backpack they were carrying under an x-ray scanner. Reports say the security staff noted something odd about the pack and asked the two men to remove a laptop, a notebook, and a wallet from the inside. The two men reportedly told the security staff that the backpack was not theirs.
Both men remained on the cruise ship while security called in Broward County detectives. The detectives, along with agents of Border Protection and Customs and a police K9 unit, arrived at the scene. Reports say the drug-sniffing dog indicated that there might be drugs in the backpack. The officers removed a substance from the bag, which, after some testing, proved to be cocaine, sources say. Reports did not specify the amount of cocaine contained within the backpack, but indicate that it was over one kilo.
Detectives questioned both men, during which time reports say Thom admitted that he was aware of the cocaine in the shoulder bag. He purportedly explained that he and Hyman picked up the backpack from a contact in Falmouth, Jamaica. Reports say he told detectives that the contact had once worked on the cruise ship. The contact had asked Thom to transport the drugs several days prior, Thom reportedly confessed. It is not yet known whether police have identified this alleged contact.
Reports say Thom told the detectives that he was expecting to be paid $2,000 for delivering the drugs to another contact in Fort Lauderdale, and that Hyman expected to be paid $1,000. Hyman, however, denied any involvement and told police that he was not aware of the cocaine in the pack. Hyman purportedly claimed that Thom asked him to hold the backpack because Hyman had put his laptop inside of it.