Number 891 • Friday, November 25, 2011

Cruise Ship Tourists Busted for Marijuana Possession
By L.K. Hewlett
 
William Donovan and Shari Hoffman
 
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A couple that arrived in St. Kitts aboard the Celebrity Eclipse cruise ship on Wednesday (Nov. 23) have been arrested and charged with drug possession by local police.

At about 8:35 that morning, ship security was alerted to the possibility of passengers having marijuana in their cabin. A search of the couple's quarters turned up a quantity of vegetable material suspected of being Cannabis. The local drug squad was called in, and carried out an investigation.

The couple, William Donovan and Shari Hoffman, both from Los Angeles, were questioned and taken into police custody. The vegetable matter recovered from their cabin was tested and confirmed as Cannabis.

According to police, the couple was charged and cautioned for possession and importation of Cannabis under the Drug Act. Both were also slapped with identical charges under the Customs and Excise Act.

The couple went before the Basseterre Magistrate Court around 3:00 p.m., and Donovan pleaded guilty to the charges. According to credible reports, he admitted to purchasing the marijuana on a beach when the ship docked in St. Maarten the day before. Donovan was fined EC$5000, which he reportedly paid immediately after the hearing. The charges against Hoffman were withdrawn.

The Observer understands that Donovan and Hoffman were not allowed to get back on the ship in light of their violation of the cruise line’s drug policies.

The couple spent the night in St. Kitts, and left the island Thursday afternoon via airlift.

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