June 18, 2024 #1 Local News, Information and Event Source for the Century City/Westwood areas.

Escaped Flight Attendant Found with 70 Pounds of Cocaine at LAX Arrested

The JetBlue Airways flight attendant authorities have been looking for since last seen with a bag full of nearly 70 pounds of cocaine has been identified as Marsha Gay Reynolds, 31, a former Jamaican beauty queen and college track-and-field athlete. (Thinkstock)
The JetBlue Airways flight attendant authorities have been looking for since last seen with a bag full of nearly 70 pounds of cocaine has been identified as Marsha Gay Reynolds, 31, a former Jamaican beauty queen and college track-and-field athlete. (Thinkstock)

A $500,000 bond was set today for a JetBlue Airways flight attendant who fled Los Angeles International Airport after security officials pulled her aside for a random baggage search and later allegedly found nearly 70 pounds of cocaine in her carry-on luggage.

Marsha Gay Reynolds, 31, a former Jamaican beauty queen and college track-and-field athlete, was granted bond by a federal magistrate judge in Brooklyn, New York, but remains in custody pending a further hearing Friday, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

Prosecutors may appeal the decision and argue that Reynolds, a resident of Queens, should stay behind bars pending trial.

Reynolds, who was second runner-up in the 2008 Miss Jamaica pageant, allegedly kicked off her Gucci high heels as she ran from LAX last Friday night.

She surrendered to U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration agents in New York on Wednesday, the same day she was charged 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 cell phone call — speaking in what sounded like a foreign language — then kicked off her shoes and ran from the terminal down the up escalator, the affidavit alleges.

The agent didn’t pursue Reynolds because his primary concern was the bags she was carrying, authorities said. Airport police conducted a search for Reynolds but 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 cocaine.

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 that 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.

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