The S.S. Smooth Operator is an Australian flag cruise ship that was sailing 180 nautical

miles off the coast of Maryland on the night of October 24, 2021. While most of the

passengers were enjoying themselves relaxing on the main deck, two passengers—

Carrie Underwood and Jason Aldean– were working hard below deck. Both Canadian

nationals, Underwood and Aldean were members of the notorious Cicotta crime

syndicate, and they were developing a plan to smuggle millions of dollars of conflict

diamonds into the United States.

But unbeknownst to Underwood and Aldean, the US Coast Guard had been monitoring

them ever since they boarded the Smooth Operator in Halifax. Indeed, with the help of

the US Customs and Border Protection, the Coast Guard learned that Underwood and

Aldean had been texting colleagues to coordinate a smuggling run later that night. In an

effort to stop that operation in its tracks, Coast Guard authorities ordered the US Coast

Guard cutter, the USS Chasing After You, to begin pursuing the Smooth Operator while

it was 180 miles off the coast of Maryland.

The Captain of the Smooth Operator, Australian national, Natalia Imbruglia, was torn,

but decided to submit to being boarded. But when Underwood learned of Captain

Imbruglia’s willingness to cooperate with the Coast Guard, Underwood immediately shot

and killed Imbruglia and took the helm herself. Unfortunately for her, Underwood was

not a skilled ship pilot and was only able to maneuver a few more miles before the

Smooth Operator was apprehended by the Chasing After You at a point 210 nautical

miles off the coast of Maryland.

Shortly after the Smooth Operator was stopped, Coast Guard officers boarded the

vessel and arrested Underwood and Aldean and transported them back to Maryland.

Once back in Maryland, Underwood and Aldean were brought before Federal

Magistrate, The Honorable Doja Cat, in Baltimore and charged with violations of US

Customs law relating to diamond smuggling. Additionally, Underwood was charged with

murdering Imbruglia.

As the Assistant U.S. Attorney for the District of Maryland, you have been asked by U.S.

Attorney Sade Adu to address three international legal questions in preparation for the

case. First, under international law, does the United States have prescriptive jurisdiction

over Underwood and Aldean for the crime of conspiring to smuggle. Second, under

international law, does the United States have prescriptive jurisdiction over Underwood

for the crime of murder. Third, under international law, are the any impediments to the

United States asserting enforcement jurisdiction over Underwood and Aldean given that

they were seized outside US territory and brought to the US against their will?

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