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Government workers busted at PortMiami trying to get on cruise to sell drugs, cops say

Two government contractors were arrested Sunday while trying to board a passenger cruise ship with the intent of selling a host of drugs to passengers. Police were notified of the men by Homeland Security agents who intercepted emails.
Two government contractors were arrested Sunday while trying to board a passenger cruise ship with the intent of selling a host of drugs to passengers. Police were notified of the men by Homeland Security agents who intercepted emails. Miami Herald File Photo

Two government contractors from Washington, D.C., were intercepted by federal agents on Sunday as they tried to board a cruise ship with an array of drugs they planned on selling to passengers, police said.

Their downfall, according to police: intercepted emails in which the two discussed their plan on government-issued computers. Police said both men were government contractors, though their arrest reports don’t say which agency employed them.

The Homeland Security special agent who intercepted the emails said their strategy was “to smuggle the narcotics into the ship and distribute it once on board the ship,” according to their arrest reports.

The ship the men were trying to board wasn’t named in the reports.

Peter Melendez, 35, was arrested and charged with conspiracy to traffic in illegal drugs and trafficking in illegal drugs. And Robert Koehler, 27, was charged with trafficking illegal drugs.

Miami-Dade police working a Homeland Security detail at PortMiami captured the duo. Police said they were notified by federal agents on Sunday that Melendez and Koehler were trying to board the cruise ship with the intent of distributing the drugs.

After the men were spotted, a K-9 by the name of Bill alerted police to the drugs the men were carrying. Police confiscated 27 grams of MDMA, more commonly referred to as Ecstacy, 18 grams of Ketamine and 246 grams of GHB, which is often referred to as a date-rape drug.

Police said both men admitted transporting the drugs when interviewed.

US Coast Guard unloads twelve tons of cocaine and one ton of marijuana from the stern of the USCG Cutter Legare at Port Everglades in Fort Lauderdale, April 24, 2018.

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