FRIDAY, AUGUST 12: Two New York women were fined $1,000 each after the admitted bringing cannabis into the island on a cruise ship.

Lisa Donitz, 54 and Carolyn Hampton, 50, were charged with possession of eight grams of cannabis on August 10 in Sandys.

The court heard both women came to Bermuda on board a Norwegian cruise ship and were sharing a room.

At 12:28pm that day, officers were making checks on various cabins and had reason to search the defendants cabin.

During the search, Donitz and Hampton were not there.

Customs officers found a plastic bag containing plantlike material and two small film containers with plantlike material.

When the defendants arrived at the cabin, they were both arrested after admitting the drugs belonged to them.

Senior Magistrate Archibald Warner said: “I see on all these summaries of evidence that customs officers are carrying out random searches on people’s rooms.

“Who told customs officers they can carry out random searches?”

Crown counsel Tawana Tannock told Mr Warner she wasn’t instructed on that question.

Mr Warner then said: “Can the police or customs just go in anybody’s room whether hotel or ship and search them?”

Ms Tannock said: “I can’t speak to that.”

The magistrate replied: “Like a hotel room or somebody’s house, people pay good money for the cruise room.

“So you all may be looking to get sued.

“I mean, if they’re guilty, they’re guilty by the fine for the simple possession is $1,000.”

The Magistrate told Ms Tannock customs officers should consider or reconsider the search method.

Mr Warner continued: “I can tell you that there is no such provision giving anybody such authority.

“It’s unconstitutional, it would be unconstitutional.

“It’s only a matter of time before you all get sued.”

The fines were to be paid immediately.