Articles Tagged with cruise ships

Two employees on a Royal Caribbean cruise ship were recently arrested after being accused of using sandals to smuggle drugs into Florida. They were bringing drugs into Port Canaveral. One of the two employees was a courier for at least one drug trafficking organization. Police officers began following the employee as he left Port Canaveral and they saw him and another employee smuggling cocaine with the use of sandals. Junior Ellison, 31 years of age, was arrested aboard the cruise ship as he was walking away with the cocaine. It was found that the sandals were purchased from Wal-Mart. It was also later found that each time Ellison left the ship he took a shuttle to a Merritt Island Wal-Mart. Authorities discovered that Ellison would obtain sandals filled with cocaine in St. Maarten and then wear them off the ship.  Ellison would make his trip to Wal-Mart, purchase a new pair of sandals, and then place the cocaine-filled sandals in the Wal-Mart bag to deliver to someone else.         

Many people are victimized when a person, or people, commits the crime of drug trafficking.  Perhaps your money was stolen by a person intending to use it to purchase drugs or paraphernalia. If you are a victim of a crime, it is imperative that you hire an attorney. The experienced Miami maritime lawyers at Gerson & Schwartz, PA are here for you!

Drug Distribution in Florida

Last December, a Honduran man was arrested after allegedly fondling an 11-year-old girl aboard the Disney Magic cruise ship. The ship disembarked from Port Miami for a weekend long cruise. While aboard the ship, the girl told her parents that the man, 31-year-old Palma Ortega, had fondled her three times. If you or someone you love was the victim of sexual assault on a cruise ship, consider contacting a Miami Cruise Ship Sexual Assault Attorney.

Miami-Dade police are charging Ortega with three counts of lewd and lascivious molestation of a minor, and he is being held without bond. Upon detention, Ortega confessed to the crime. In the state of Florida, the lewd or lascivious molestation of a child under 12 is a felony punishable by 25 years to life in prison. The man is also on an immigration hold and may be subject to deportation.

It is not clear yet whether or not Ortega was a crewmember of the Disney cruise line, but regardless, the cruise ship company does not have the best track record of responding to sexual assaults by their crew members. In 2013, a similar event took place, where an 11-year-old girl was groped by a dining room employee on the Disney Dream cruise ship while the ship was docked at Port Canaveral. Local police could not arrest the man because Disney did not report the assault until the next day. Instead of receiving justice, the man was sent back to his home country of India.

Cruise ship season has begun in Florida. As cruise ships leave the coasts of Europe and Alaska, seeking warmer waters in Florida and the Caribbean, many Americans are choosing cruise ships as the venue for their wintertime vacations. Cruise lines have been reporting increased numbers of bookings from last year, with Carnival Cruise Corp. boasting a 20% increase in early 2016 bookings from the previous year. With an increased number of Americans choosing to sail on cruise ships comes increased numbers of accidents that cruise ship companies could be liable for. If you were injured or lost a loved one aboard a cruise ship, contact an experienced Miami Cruise Ship Accident Attorney today.

Cruise Ship Season in Florida

Cruise ship season in Florida typically stretches from November until April. Americans suffering cold winters flock to Florida for reprieve from blizzards and subzero temperatures. 62% of all people who have left the US on a cruise ship has done so through a Florida port. With Hurricane season ending in October, the winter months are some of the safest times to travel the sea.

Recently, a passenger sued Carnival Cruise ship on account of suffering a sexual assault by an unidentified individual while using the ladies’ restroom in the ship and alleged that, in spite of reporting the incident to the support staff on the same day, no active measure was taken by the cruise ship crew or personnel. Our team of Miami cruise ship lawyers are not surprised. This brings to light the fact that sexual assaults on cruise ships are not uncommon at all.

What to Do if You are Sexually Assaulted on a Cruise Ship

If you and/or the perpetrator of a sexual assault is an American national and the ship sails from or to a U.S. port, then the FBI will have jurisdiction over the case. In other circumstances, it is more complicated to determine which agency—or even which country—has jurisdiction. The location of the vessel, the nationality of the perpetrator or victim, ownership of the vessel, the points of embarkation and debarkation, and the country in which the vessel is flagged may all have an effect on jurisdiction.