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Cruise passengers fined for drug possession

Two passengers on the cruise ship Norwegian Breakaway, currently docked at Heritage Wharf and scheduled to leave later today, were fined for drug importation when they appeared in Magistrates’ Court this morning.

Daniel Grogan, 36, from New York City, pleaded guilty to possessing ecstasy, cocaine and cannabis while on-board. However, he pleaded not guilty to having them in his possession to sell.

Another passenger, Elizabeth Turk, 55, from Eureka, California also pleaded guilty to having in her possession cannabis.

Prosecutor Nicole Smith said that on August 13, cruise ship officials notified customs officers of the smell of narcotics from Grogan’s room. The officers entered and woke up a sleeping Grogan who admitted that he was in possession of the drugs.

He opened his safe where there were three plastic bags containing 25 green pills, five yellow pills and a white powder. These were later revealed to be ecstasy and cocaine.

Grogan admitted that he had more drugs, showing them another bag containing plant material in his bathroom. This was later revealed to be cannabis.

The drugs were seized and Drogan was taken to Hamilton Police Station. In his possession were 46.67 grams of cannabis and 4.76 grams of cocaine. The 25 green pills were ecstasy, while the five yellow pills were revealed to be the prescription drug procaine.

He admitted to police that he bought the drugs in New York for personal use and that he had come to Bermuda with drugs twice before.

Magistrate Khamisi Tokunbo gave the defendant a $750 fine for the cocaine, a $1,200 fine for the ecstasy and a $2,000 fine for the cannabis for a total of $3,950.

On August 14, Turk’s room was searched by cruise ship officials and customs officers while she wasn’t there.

They opened her safe where they found a plastic bag containing cannabis along with a pack of rolling paper and a rolling machine.

Later she was located on Heritage Wharf where she was confronted by officials.

She explained she had been prescribed marijuana for medical reasons.

However, Mr Tokunbo told her that Bermuda does not allow cannabis in Bermuda even for medical purposes and fined her $1,000.

The defendants were told they cannot leave the Island until the fines are fully paid.