PORT CANAVERAL, Fla. - A cruise set sail from at Port Canaveral this weekend but with two dozen fewer people.
Two dozen people were arrested on drug possession charges during security checks before boarding the ship for the Holy Ship! 2018 event.
Holy Ship denied a comment but on its website states that there is a zero-tolerance policy:
"Holy Ship! has a strict zero tolerance policy. You will be embarking Holy Ship! in Port Canaveral and passing through security run by Customs and Border Protection, a division of Homeland Security. Your person and your luggage can and will be searched. Forget about your right to privacy, you are passing through a port where all local and federal laws apply and are strictly enforced. Every person and each piece of luggage will be inspected by dogs trained to detect explosives and contraband. Anyone found to be violating the law and/or in possession of illegal substances or prohibited items (weapons, illegal controlled substances, etc) will be arrested and banned from all future events. For more information on what to expect at embarkation, visit TSA."
Twenty-four people didn't heed that statement Saturday, deputies said.
"It ranges from marijuana to cocaine, MDMA or ecstasy. A lot of the drugs are used in a rave scene. A lot of people with paraphernalia," Brevard County Sheriff's Office public information officer Tod Goodyear said.
Goodyear told News 6 the port added security this weekend knowing the cruise would set sail Saturday.
"I think that based on some of the things that occurred during previous events and some of the activities that were there, there was some concern that the people that would be traveling would be trying to conceal drugs and bring them on the ships," Goodyear said.
Among those arrested was DJ Gina Turner.
She has hired a lawyer and said she couldn't say much about the arrest but did issue a statement.
"I had a medical marijuana card for both of the charges that I've been charged with. Though the report says without a prescription, and I had NO cocaine on me at all, false positive result," Turner said.
She said she plans to fight the charges.
Norwegian is the chosen cruise line for the event. When asked for a comment, officials referred News 6 to law enforcement officials.
Steve Linden, director of communications and public affairs for Port Canaveral, released a statement about the series of arrests.
“The safety and security of cruise passengers at our Port – or any port, for that matter – is a serious business. The arrests that occurred this weekend were made by a joint effort of federal, state and local law enforcement agencies. The Canaveral Port Authority is proud and highly supportive of these professionals who ensure the safety measures and protections for all passengers boarding every cruise ship at our Port,” Linden said.
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