LAX police found 11 packages of cocaine wrapped in green cellophane and labeled, 'BIG Ranch' inside one of the bags Reynolds had allegedly left behind.
LOS ANGELES, Calif. (FOX 11 / CNS) - A JetBlue Airways flight attendant who allegedly had almost 70 pounds of cocaine in her carry-on luggage and fled when Los Angeles International Airport security officials pulled her aside for a random baggage search is expected to make her initial court appearance in New York today.
Marsha Gay Reynolds, who allegedly kicked off her Gucci high heels as she fled Friday night, surrendered to U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration agents in New York on Wednesday, officials said. Reynolds was charged Wednesday in Los Angeles with possession with intent to distribute cocaine.
The drug discovery was made Friday afternoon in Terminal Four by a Transportation Security Administration security officer who was screening the airline attendant's carry-on bags as part of a random search, according to an FBI affidavit.
As the TSA officer led Reynolds to a location to be searched, she made a cellphone call -- speaking in what sounded like a foreign language -- then kicked off her shoes and ran from the terminal down the up escalator, the
The agent didn't pursue because his primary concern was the bags Reynolds was carrying and airport police who conducted a search for Reynolds couldn't find her, authorities said.
Reynolds' abandoned luggage was found to contain 11 individually wrapped packages -- labeled "Big Ranch" -- that were taken to the Los Angeles police's Forensic Science Division, where the contents tested positive for
In the wake of the foiled drug-smuggling attempt, Los Angeles Airport Police Officers Association President Marshall McClain called for 100 percent screening of all passengers and employees at LAX.
"Flight attendants and other crew members are not normally subjected to searches, but this is a perfect example of why Los Angeles airports need 100 percent screening of all passengers and airport employees" McClain said.
McClain disputed claims it's impossible to screen everyone that comes to work at LAX, pointing out that such screening is done at two prominent Florida airports.
"Miami International Airport and Orlando International Airport screen all of their employees," McClain said. "Miami has screened approximately 38,000 employees since 1999. Total employee screening is realistic and
achievable and it should happen here at LAX."
Requiring 100 percent screening would raise the odds of stopping an insider or lone wolf terrorist attack and help minimize opportunities for airport employees to commit crimes, according to the police union. "The weekend's incident reinforces the (union's) calls for an airport police officer to be stationed within 300 feet of the TSA screening checkpoint,' McClain said.
"While airport police officers are charged with patrolling an entire massive airport terminal, having an officer dedicated to being within 300 feet of the security area ensures that an officer is immediately available to
respond to issues at the screening station. which is the last line of defense in keeping unwanted items off of planes and ill-willed individuals from getting access to planes," McClain said.
Sixty pounds of cocaine were seized from carry-on luggage at Los Angeles International Airport. Authorities released this image on Monday, March 21, 2016.
Authorities are looking for a flight attendant who fled Los Angeles International Airport without shoes Friday night after being subject to a random search that turned up about 60 pounds of cocaine in two carry-on roller bags, authorities told NBC News.
The flight attendant, like other crew members, is not normally subjected to searches. But just after 9 p.m. Friday, the unidentified flight attendant was pulled aside by TSA officers for a random screening in Terminal 5, law enforcement sources familiar with the incident said.
The woman, who was not identified, appeared nervous and made a cell phone call in a language not recognized by officers, authorities told NBC News. She was then taken aside to a secondary screening area and was asked for her employee identification.
Suddenly, the woman bolted from the screening location, running with her bags toward an escalator. After a short distance she jettisoned the luggage and her Gucci shoes, exiting the terminal. The suspect, who is being sought, was due to be on Flight 028 from LAX to LaGuardia Airport in New York City.
The incident, which is being investigated by Los Angeles Airport Police, LAPD and the Drug Enforcement Administration, was captured on video, which was not immediately released. The drugs have been booked into evidence.
Original article can be found here: http://www.nbclosangeles.com