On 20th October, a 33-year-old woman was sentenced to eight years in federal prison for trafficking 14 pounds of cocaine on her way back from Jamaica during a cruise trip with three other women. The narcotics was tucked in their bras and undergarments.
The sentence was handed down on Thursday at the U.S. Middle District Court in Orlando. Lakisha Abney, of Washington, D.C., pleaded guilty in July to conspiracy to import cocaine into the country following a cruise on the Port Canaveral-based Royal Caribbean’s Freedom of the Seas. Abney was described by prosecutors as the ring leader.
She had faces up to 20 years in prison and a fine of up to $1 million.
Abney also agreed to cooperate with the government, court documents show.
Prosecutors said Abney and the three other suspected drug ‘mules,’ identified as co-conspirators came to Port Canaveral in May 2016, and boarded an unidentified cruise ship heading to the Caribbean island nation of Jamaica, along with Haiti and Mexico.
The women told authorities that they were given a free cruise in exchange for bringing the narcotic back to the U.S.
Once in Jamaica, Abney purchased six kilograms of cocaine and then, along with the other women, worked to conceal it under loose-fitting dresses, undergarments and bras, along with their cabin for the duration of the trip, federal prosecutors reported.
Authorities said the women arrived back at Port Canaveral with the vacuum-sealed packages of cocaine. Prosecutors said U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers quickly uncovered the cocaine during a pat-down search of the four women.
The other three women, identified as Shawnta Aiken, Ciera Bryant, both of Washington, D.C., and Shenique Milbourne, of Fort Washington, had already pleaded guilty for their roles.
Aiken was sentenced to two years, while Bryant was given one year and ten months, records show.
Milbourne was sentenced to two years and six months, court records show.
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Source: Florida Today