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Crew Cocaine Smugglers Busted Aboard Allure of the Seas, worlds largest cruise ship

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Two crew members of the Allure of the Seas were arrested and accused of smuggling cocaine when their cruise ship docked at Port Everglades on Sunday.

Winston Hyman and Jimmel Thom, both 25, were stopped during a routine crew inspection as they attempted to disembark the Allure of the Seas around 2 p.m. The cruise ship had just returned from scheduled stops in Haiti, Jamaica and Mexico, according to Special Agent Shawn Stone with the Department of Homeland Security's investigation division.

Hyman put a backpack into the X-ray scanner and inspectors noticed something. Hyman removed his laptop computer and wallet from the backpack and Thom took out his computer tablet. Both told security agents the backpack did not belong to them, according to the investigative report.

Broward Sheriff's Office deputies and Customs and Border Protection officers were called in to inspect the backpack. A police dog alerted to something in the backpack which was then field-tested. The substance inside tested positive for cocaine, the report stated.

Hyman and Thom were detained.

During questioning, Thom said he knew there was cocaine in the backpack. He told detectives that he and Hyman had received the backpack from a man in Falmouth, Jamaica.

Thom knew the man had previously worked aboard the Allure and had approached Thom to smuggle narcotics a week earlier. Thom said he had helped the man sneak drugs on and off the Allure before and that he would be paid $2,000 and Hyman would get $1,000 from the Fort Lauderdale recipient of this shipment, the report stated.

Hyman told agents a different story, denying any knowledge of the drug trafficking.

During questioning, he said Thom came to his cabin before disembarking the ship and told Hyman to carry the backpack because Hyman has put his laptop inside, making it heavier. Thom told security agents the backpack had belonged to a friend, according to the investigation.

Both face charges of trafficking more than a kilo of cocaine, agents said.

By Wayne K. Roustan, Sun Sentinel

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