Cruisers Busted for Hiding 159 Pounds of Marijuana in Suitcases

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Two passengers who boarded Norwegian Joy, Michael Quesenberry and Savannah Minami, were apprehended last January 11 for bringing 56 bags of marijuana each. Combined, the pair attempted to onboard nearly 160 pounds of weed. 

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Norwegian Joy (Photo courtesy of Norwegian Cruise Line)

The incident happened during the embarkation of a Norwegian Cruise Line (NCL) voyage sailing from Miami to Southampton, England.

Thanks to a sniffer dog, authorities discovered vacuum-sealed bags containing “a green leafy substance” inside Quesenberry’s luggage. The mysterious substance was later tested and confirmed to be cannabis. 

According to an affidavit signed by Department of Homeland Security special agent Joseph Angarone, Quesenberry told him that it was for medical purposes and that he had a medical marijuana card at home in California.

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Meanwhile, Minami had become linked to Quesenberry because they were found together in a stateroom.

Minami at first claimed that she had just met Quesenberry at the ship’s bar, so law enforcement let her go.

After the drugs were discovered in Quesenberry’s baggage, they searched Minami’s luggage and found another 56 bags of marijuana.

Intent to Distribute

Two german shepherds standing next to a police car.
(Photo via Shutterstock)

Because of the large amounts of drugs found, Angarone believes that Quesenberry and Minami are involved in drug trafficking and distribution.

News Channel 8 quoted his affidavit, “Further, based on my training and experience, drug traffickers are increasingly turning to the exportation of marijuana from the United States to England, due to the higher price of marijuana in England.”

Since the arrest, two charges have been filed against them: conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute a controlled substance and possession with intent to distribute a controlled substance.

Marijuana is legal in some US states, but on cruise ships, it is categorically prohibited—medical or otherwise.

In light of the incident, NCL said, “The safety and security of our guests is, as always, our top priority. As such, Norwegian Cruise Line reserves the right to confiscate any items on the Prohibited Items List, and may notify authorities when necessary.”

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