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Cruise ship visitor with drugs ‘made a big mistake’

An American cruise ship passenger who landed a $3,000 fine after 13 spliffs were found in his cabin admitted: “I made a big mistake.”

Richard Battistella, 39, from New Jersey, pleaded guilty at Magistrates’ Court to importing cannabis to Bermuda.

Prosecutor Larissa Burgess told the court customs officers conducted a search of the

Explorer of the Seas at Dockyard.

A sniffer dog led them to Battistella’s cabin and a bedside drawer, where they found 13 hand-rolled cigarettes containing plant material.

She said: “Later that day, the defendant returned to his cabin and was subsequently detained. Police arrived and took possession of the cigarettes.”

Battistella told Senior Magistrate Archibald Warner: “I made a big mistake. It won’t happen again. When I was arrested, I was truthful, honest and respectful.”

Mr Warner fined him $3,000, with 30 days in jail if he fails to pay.

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Published August 03, 2011 at 2:00 am (Updated August 03, 2011 at 9:44 am)

Cruise ship visitor with drugs ‘made a big mistake’

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