Metro Weekly

D.C. men arrested for allegedly trying to smuggle drugs onto Miami cruise ship

Police say they were tipped off by intercepted emails sent from government-issued computers

Peter Melendez (left) and Robert Koehler – Photo: Miami-Dade Police Department.

Two D.C. government contractors were arrested for attempting to smuggle drugs onto a cruise ship in Miami on Sunday, reports The Miami Herald.

Police claim the men had planned to sneak the drugs — including MDMA (also known as ecstasy), Adderall, GHB, Ketamine, and Viagra — onto the ship and sell them to passengers. Both men are gay, but police did not say which cruise ship they had planned to board.

Peter Melendez, 35, has been charged with conspiracy to traffic in illegal drugs and trafficking in illegal drugs. Robert Koehler, 27, has been charged with trafficking illegal drugs.

Police say they were tipped off by federal agents from Homeland Security about the men’s plans, which Melendez and Koehler allegedly discussed via email on their government-issued computers.

After the men were spotted by police trying to board the ship, a police dog sniffed out the drugs in their possession, which were found in Melendez’s bag. According to the police report, officers confiscated 27 grams of MDMA, 18 grams of Ketamine, and 246 grams of GHB.

Police claim both men admitted to transporting the drugs when they were interviewed.

Melendez was released on $7,500 bond, and Koehler on $30,000 bond, according to court records. Both are next scheduled to appear in court for an arraignment hearing before Judge Spencer Multack on Mar. 5.

The public defender listed as the attorney for both men did not return a request for comment as of press time.

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John Riley is the local news reporter for Metro Weekly. He can be reached at

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