A man who is alleged to have raided a cruise ship's medicine cabinet for morphine pleaded not guilty in Los Angeles Monday to burglary involving controlled substances and possession of a controlled substance.
A federal affidavit alleges that Phillip John Struble, 30, broke into the medicine supply area of the Carnival Cruise Lines ship Paradise on Valentine's Day. A subsequent search of his cabin allegedly turned up the pilfered morphine as well as hundreds of Percocet tablets and drug known as Dilaudid, according to federal authorities. Vials of phenobarbital and Xanax pills were also reported missing after the break-in.
The ship's captain, concerned about the potency of the stolen drugs, called for a search of the entire vessel after the substances were reported stolen that morning. Stewards stated they had noticed the suspect near the medical center before the break-in. And the ship's physician said he had given Struble painkillers after he complained of pain the evening before.
The suspect, who was traveling with his fiance on the Long Beach-to-Mexico cruise, was locked up in the ship's brig for the rest of the tour.
-With reporting from Weekly wire services. Got news? Email us.