Marsha Gay Reynolds – Alleged LAX cocaine-carrying flight attendant surrenders in NY
A JetBlue Airways flight attendant who allegedly had almost 70 pounds of cocaine in her carry-on luggage and fled from Los Angeles International Airport when security officials pulled her aside for a random baggage search surrendered today.
Marsha Gay Reynolds, who allegedly kicked off her Gucci high heels as she fled the airport on Friday, turned herself in to U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration agents in New York, officials said.
She is expected to make an initial court appearance Thursday in New York to face a charge of possession with intent to distribute cocaine. The charge was filed today in Los Angeles.
Reynolds is a former beauty queen. A Marsha-Gay Reynolds finished as second runner-up in the 2008 Miss Jamaica pageant.
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 bag as part of a random search, according to a TSA official.
After the TSA officer directed Reynolds to a location for her to be screened, she was left unattended and witnesses stated that she made a cellphone call, kicked off her shoes and ran from the terminal down the up escalator.
The abandoned luggage was found to contain 11 individually wrapped packages containing almost 70 pounds of cocaine, according to an affidavit attached to the criminal complaint.
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.
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