The five-day Carnival cruise through the Caribbean was supposed to have it all.
There was a water slide for the kids, a spa and slot machines for adults and stage shows for the whole family. The five-day journey included two day-long stops on Mexico’s Yucatan peninsula — perfect for scuba diving and visiting Mayan pyramids. The ship even had a burger joint on board designed by Food Network star Guy Fieri.
But one passenger who tried to board the cruise last week as it departed from New Orleans, La., never got to experience it. Instead, 30-year-old Sircaria Coleman was stopped and arrested by Port of New Orleans Harbor Police aboard the Carnival Triumph cruise ship before it left dock on Jan. 29, the New Orleans Advocate reports.
Coleman’s alleged crime? Deserting from her Army post in Fort Carson, Colo., more than a decade ago. U.S. Customs and Border Protection realized Coleman had a warrant out for her arrest as the agency was doing a routine screening of boarding passengers before the ship set sail last week, Stars and Stripes reports.
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Coleman turned 30 four days before trying to board the cruise, the Advocate reports, and court records said she was employed at a cellphone dealership at the time of her arrest.
Coleman had vanished from her Army post in November 2005, according to Aleah Castrejon, a spokeswoman for Fort Carson. When she disappeared, Coleman had been a private in the 2nd Brigade of the 4th Infantry Division at the installation, the spokeswoman told Stars and Stripes.
After harbor police found Coleman, they removed her from the ship without incident, a law enforcement spokesman told the Military Times. Coleman was then held in custody in Orleans Parish without bail, awaiting extradition to Fort Carson.
In August 2012, Coleman was previously arrested on misdemeanor marijuana charges in Louisiana Cado Parish — but in that instance, Coleman was released on $850 bond. At the time, Coleman was not flagged to be extradited to Fort Carson on desertion charges, Stars and Stripes reports.
The harshest penalty for desertion in modern times has been five years in prison and dishonorable discharge, NBC reports. But in wartime, the maximum punishment is death — though that has only happened once since the Civil War.
Jail records show that on Feb. 3 Coleman was booked at the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office Detention Center in Colorado, near Fort Carson. She was being held on a courtesy hold for another law enforcement agency, jail records said.