23 October 2014
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16 Oct 2013

Captain caught using superyacht to smuggle drugs

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The captain of 32.31m superyacht Secret Spot has been arrested by federal agents in West Palm Beach for allegedly using the Lazzara-built vessel to import 281kg of cocaine, worth up to $6 million, into America.

Captain Jon Paul Costenbader was caught moving bags of cocaine from the yacht into a nearby van at the Palm Harbor Marina at which the yacht was moored, according to reports in The Palm Beach Post. Federal agents had first been alerted to the suspicious activity because of Costenbader’s failure to report to US Customs upon arrival from the Bahamas.

Thirty-three year old Michelle Caribe Daniel, who was on board at the time, has also been arrested and faces the same charges as Costenbader, after she admitted handling the contraband and helping to move it. Although it is unclear whether Daniel was an acting crewmember, her father said “she was a victim of circumstance…[and at] the wrong place at the wrong time.”

Both Costenbader and Daniel have pleaded not guilty but will remain in custody until they return to court in November.


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