Cruise Passenger Fined For Drug Possession

May 15, 2012

In Plea Court this morning [May 15] 30-year-old American tourist Trevis Gembarowski, a passenger on the cruise ship ‘Norwegian Dawn’ pleaded guilty to two charges involving the possession of 7.16 grams of Cannabis and 0.88 grams of Ecstasy.

The DPP Prosecutor told Senior Magistrate Archie Warner that around 1:25pm on Sunday 13th May, a Bermuda Customs canine in a ‘sniffer dog’ team had alerted to illegal drugs in cabin 8597 on board the ‘Norwegian Dawn’.

The cabin, unoccupied at the time, was entered and searched and white powder and wrapped plant material was found in a duffel bag and a case.

Later that day, on his return to the ship, Mr Gembarowski was approached by Customs and Police. Mr Gembarowski admitted that the items belonged to him. He was then taken off the ship to Somerset Police Station.

This morning, Gembarowski told Senior Magistrate Archie Warner that the drugs were: “For my personal use to party while I was on the cruise.” He also told the Magistrate: “The ship leaves tonight. I hope I can raise enough money to pay a fine and that I don’t have to miss the ship.”

Pointing out that he could always stay on in public accommodation and that he was fortunate that given the amount of drugs he had not been charged with importing with intent to supply, the Senior Magistrate fined Gembarowski $800 on the charge of possessing the cannabis and another $800 for possessing the Ecstasy powder. Both fines must be paid forthwith.

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Comments (39)

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  1. Mountbatten says:

    1st… OOOhhhh Ecstasy huh .. what about the agony of de feet walking to the bank .

  2. Owner4Comment says:

    Hate to say it but with Bermuda’s economy and strict laws as well as depleting tourism numbers we need to think about a reform in policy because word of mouth is compared to that of the spread of wild fire and these convictions of drugs on board the passenger ship not even on our land is going to haunt us severely and I’m sure already has. Do you ever wonder to yourselves how many people of all ages wont come back ever again and how many people they’ll keep back once news has spread? If anything the ship should hire a team to keep their ships free from drugs on board and coincide with local authorities of each country of port in which the drugs are found in as to how to proceed with prosecution of the matter. I really think that Bermuda customs should only worry about the off loading of passengers caught with drugs because once they step off board thats when they’re so called violating the laws of Bermuda in my opinion.

  3. Baroness Elizabeth Von Trumpasaurus says:

    Another tourism boost.

  4. tricks are for kids.. says:

    The fact that “The cabin, unoccupied at the time……..” bothers me. I know that in the end he admitted that the drugs were his….BUT……couldn’t one easily say…”what you talking bout Willis?” and say that it wasn’t his and someone must have planted it……I do not trust that entering premises and no one is there….I know that there is a need to control drugs being bought into the island but………

    • Tommy Chong says:

      If this bothers you I wonder how you feel about the fact that police in Bermuda can under the misuse of drugs act enter & search anyone’s home at anytime without the owner of the home being present? No warrant or agreement is needed with this act & all constitutional rights are legally revoked when any Bermuda law enforcement uses it.

      • tricks are for kids says:

        @ Tommy….I think it’s dangerous…considering all the corruption that already exists on this island…………..That means ANYBODY can be set up if need be……….

        • Tommy Chong says:

          You’re preaching to the choir but I’m under the realization that there are is too much of a majority here under propaganda induced fear to ever petition against this act. I’m sure anyone who did will be pegged as a drug users whether or not they are & will become the victim of frequent searches to the point where they will cease & desist. I bet if the security minister announced that the day after tomorrow everyone will have to be strip searched on the spot to keep us safe from dangerous drugs many would not protest.

  5. star man says:

    Bang! Foot must be bleeding profusely by now!

    This just doesn’t make any sense knowing what we know about cannabis today. Do something about this Minister Bean! Put your money where your mouth is. Our Drug Laws are archaic and asinine.

    Nevertheless, no matter what the Law says in Bermuda, most visitors would feel that Mr Gembarowski was not importing the drugs. They were found in his locked private cabin, so it would be a mistake to charge him for possession as he did not take the drugs ashore. That would be the general consensus.

    Customs is pushing it here in my opinion.

    • Come correct says:

      Technically speaking, they’re in our waters so our laws apply, if not the man better leave me alone wen I’m bobbin around the lakes with my cone. I agree with you on the rest but what really needs to happen is a revise of our drug laws. Like really, $800 for both drugs? Extacy is a proven killer and weed is a proven medicine, but yet it seems they are treated equally. I believe that’s borderline communist if I don’t have the freedom to put natural substances into my body but yet alcahol is legal. There no law about me going out and licking the back of a frog, so why is this, as stated, plant material so harshly punished.

      To Mr. Gembarowski, lay off the disco buscuits unless you have a death wish. If its man made it will kill you!

      • TheFuture says:

        The only thing proven is smoking makes people post stupid comments (thanks for the examples).

        • Tommy Chong says:

          People who support prohibition make the most idiotic statements known to man. Here’s a few examples.

          “I now have absolute proof that smoking even one marijuana cigarette is equal in brain damage to being on Bikini Island during an H-bomb blast” – Ronald Reagan

          “There are 100,000 total marijuana smokers in the US, and most are Negroes, Hispanics, Filipinos and entertainers. Their Satanic music, jazz and swing, result from marijuana usage. This marijuana causes white women to seek sexual relations with Negroes, entertainers and any others.” – Harry Anslinger

          “Casual drug users should be taken out and shot.” – Daryl Gates

          “Now, like, I’m President. It would be pretty hard for some drug guy to come into the White House and start offering it up, you know? … I bet if they did, I hope I would say, ‘Hey, get lost. We don’t want any of that.” – George H. W. Bush

          To put it plain & simple those who support prohibition are the most ignorant people that ever walked on this earth.

        • Come correct says:

          Stats? The future looks grim.

    • terry says:

      Starman, they were under his care and control. Read the law fool.
      Now go back to BIAW.

  6. Somebody is making sense... says:

    …this guy should have had a sex-change, changed his profession and brought the drugs in by plane…

  7. More with less says:

    Wonder if these searches and fines have anything to do with the fact that it is well known that cruise ship passengers aren’t big spenders?

    • Tommy Chong says:

      Nah! Couldn’t be. I’m sure there is something in Bermuda these cruise ship passengers would spend $800 to $10,000 on like um…um…um. Well, I can’t think of anything right now but when I do I’ll let everyone know & at the same time I’ll announce the birth of flying pigs. Besides what you suggest would be considered extortion & would be immoral. There’s no way our judges would stoop to such a bias judgement because are judges always hand out sentences in such intelligent manner they can be compared to a Harvard scholar.

  8. LOL says:

    Here we go again….

  9. Triangle Drifter says:

    Surely Customs has better things to do with their time. If not, it is obvious that they are not doing anything useful & be fired.

    • Tommy Chong says:

      Well Triangle there’s many shipping containers that get unloaded in Bermuda weekly. These would be a better use of time to search & with the amount there are it would take the majority of the officers to do thoroughly each week. I guess customs feels its easier for a tourist to stash huge amounts of drugs on their person than someone to bring it in stashed inside hundreds of electronics, cars, trucks, bikes, furniture, instruments, dvds, cds, foods, pharmaceuticals & clothing that are shipped weekly.

  10. ALLFORIT says:

    I support these drugs busts 100%. Allowing visitors a free hand is a gateway to bring in larger amounts. Smoke it or toss it before the ship enters our waters.

    • terry says:

      Absolutely correct ALFORIT.
      People walk off those ships with hundreds of pounds of weed every port call.
      These are diversions, paid for well.
      If I can put a bomb in my undies imagine what technoligy can surround a few pounds of cannabis.
      Think I talk crap?
      Read about what can be concealed and how to ‘wrap it’.

      • star man says:

        If what you say is true, then Customs are concentrating their efforts in the wrong place… they should be concentrating their efforts on interdicting the “hundreds of pounds of weed” you claim walk off the boats in every port, presumably including ours. The weight gets through. And the little guy gets busted using sniffer dogs. How easy is that!! No effort required there. What a self-defeating cop out.

        Why are Customs always busting harmless users? Thats too easy! But the dealers get the weight through, no problem. Wonder whose getting the pay-offs?

    • Tommy Chong says:

      Why would dealers rely on cruise ships to bring in large amounts of drugs? Drug dealing is a 24/7 year round business & those who would rely on seasonal ships would lose their share of the market.

  11. True.. says:

    So this one gets fined… Its just the University Professor that gets away with a slap on the wrist?? Treat everyone the same or let ALL tourists do what they want.

  12. Real says:

    I am sure it is illegal where they come from which means they shouldn’t have it anyway. Also do you know that customs goes on board at the wishes of the captain and head of security. I would hate for my little daughter or anyone’s child to have to inhale this smell in the corridors on the ship if I was on the boat. Last of all it is easy to say they weren’t taking it off the ship but what if they were using the drug in their cabin and then after using it came out of the cabin and started acting violently as some people can act after use. If your child or mother, father or daughter got beat up or even thrown over-board then you would all be asking customs to come on board. Worse, what if some idiot drop some on the ship and your child found it(ecstasy or coke) and ate it? Sing a different tune?

    • Just One says:

      Of course it is illegal and wrong, however I and many others think that the ship’s security should deal with drugs on the ship, and Customs should deal with drugs coming off the ship, if they come off at all!

    • Really? says:

      Using the “what if a small child got it” argument, it follows that you would also ban alcohol, cigarettes, rare steaks, whole lobsters, glass, small items (choking hazard), etc from the ship as all of these could harm a small child. Sheesh.

      • Tommy Chong says:

        Believe it or not as dumb as this argument is America has made Kinder Surprise Chocolates illegal to posses revolving around the theory. People have even been arrested at U.S. airports & fined for bringing in these chocolates despite the clear warning on the side that theirs a toy inside the chocolate. I guess America thinks their citizens are too ignorant to figure out what a picture of a child in a circle with a diagonal line through it means. I wonder what Americans think the international no smoking sign means if they can’t figure this one out?

    • Tommy Chong says:

      A YOU FOR REAL Real?!?!?!? Neither cannabis nor mdma has ever proven to make anyone violent. It may make some a little gitty & naive maybe. That stated mdma is still very dangerous to the user & can cause sever nerve damage that could lead to paralyzation. Cannabis on the other hand is is only dangerous to users lungs if it is not use in moderation.

      You posed the example of if a child picked up some illicit substance that is dropped on the floor. Well how about this? What if someone mistakenly dropped aspirin on the floor? This could kill a child if they swallowed it & it is not illegal to posses. Also if you are worried about children inhaling cannabis smoke you should be more worried about second hand tobacco smoke inhalation as this is worse than cannabis smoke & is known to cause asthma & emphysema in thousands of children yearly. Even though there are public smoking laws in Bermuda I still see many who smoke cigarettes in non smoking areas here without being find for it.

    • star man says:

      Nobody gets violent after smoking weed. Nor Extacy, the love drug. Where do you get your information from?

      I mean what if you got run over by a bus. What if? What if? Come on, get real.

    • More with less says:

      Hope your child had NEVER been around cigarette smoke then.

  13. United says:

    Hmm, another fine. Too bad the guy wasn’t a professor at Harvard. He could have gotten off.

  14. star man says:

    When it comes to the PLP Government, the left hand doesn’t know what the right hand is doing. And the right hand is usually shooting the foot. Sometimes it’s all just too much to comprehend for t

  15. Sandy says:

    When oh when will the cruiseship passengers get the message – Bermuda does not tolerate drugs! I would never think of taking drugs to the US! I dont even use drugs but I cant believe tourist still come here with drugs in their cabins or on themselves/in a suitcase or purse, and they must think we are stuiped or something. With drug sniffing dogs and the network between the US and Bermuda…they cant help but be caught! The cruiseships should include some information in their cruise packages that say Bermuda does not tollerate drugs…do not bring them with you as your cabin will be searched and so will you and the fines or jail sentences are not worth it!

    • Tommy Chong says:

      They probably don’t realize the search laws here are different then their country & so are the punishments for possession. In most countries its illegal to search a person’s residence without them present & without a warrant that must be given by a higher authority that will not give one for suspicions of small amounts & will not give it for a whole cruise ship. Most searches on cruise ships in other countries are done on a tip off of large quantities & usually involve the crew members & not passengers. Also small possession of small amounts in other countries results in a slap on the wrist & most law enforcement will just confiscate the drugs & not arrest the person. There are of course exemptions to these countries that are lenient but most of these are not in the western hemisphere.

      Another reason may be that tourist mistake us with the caribbean where law enforcement turns a blind eye to tourist drug as these places rely on the tourist dollar & will not do anything that will mess up their economy.

  16. More with less says:

    If you defend marijuana prohibition and you drink ANY form of alcohol you are a hypocrite and that is a fact. You need to come to terms with this.

  17. Jailhouse blues says:

    This fellow who says he simply was partying with his drugs pleaded guilty in United States District Court to distribution of cocaine and served time in prison.
    It could be that the drugs he wanted to sell were all gone by the time Bermuda officials checked out his cabin. This is not a case of personal possession. He is a businessman.