An in-law of MSNBC's Chris Matthews has been arrested and charged in connection with an $8.1 million drug bust.
The 79-foot sailboat Sarah Moira was heading to the US from Jamaica on Nov. 21 when it was intercepted by federal agents, the Cape Cod Times reported. Authorities seized 4,497 pounds of marijuana and arrested the boat's captain, James Ormonde Staveley-O'Carroll, and his crew.
"The captain of the vessel and the target of a federal probe is 58-year-old James Ormonde Staveley-O'Carroll, a shipbuilder and self-described firebrand liberal, whose daughter, Sarah, is married to Michael K. Matthews, the son of MSNBC 'Hardball' host Chris Matthews," the paper reported.
The ship was taken to the US Coast Guard Station in Gulfport, Mississippi. A federal affidavit said that drug sniffing dogs found two wooden crates filled with individually wrapped packages of marijuana.
Staveley-O'Carroll is being held and awaiting trial in Mississippi, along with co-defendants 20-year-old Boone Ferrie and 27-year-old Brian Parker. All of them men are charged with conspiracy to possess controlled substance with intent to distribute, conspiracy to import controlled substance with intent to distribute, possession of controlled substance with intent to distribute and importation of controlled substance with intent to distribute.
The trial is scheduled to begin Feb. 14.
"The interception is the result of an investigation by Homeland Security agents and stems from information provided by a confidential informant that the Sarah Moira was smuggling about 4,000 pounds of marijuana from Jamaica to the US," the Cape Cod Times said.
According to the affidavit, Ferrie and Parker said they were hired by Staveley-O'Carroll to help with the transport of a load of marijuana. After leaving Jacksonville on Nov. 7, the boat arrived off the coast of Jamaica on Nov. 14. It was met by two other small boats that provided the drugs.