Flight Attendant & Miss Jamaica Runner-up, Caught with Cocaine Worth $3M after fleeing leaving Gucci shoes at the airport
A flight attendant who fled a security check — allegedly leaving behind 68 pounds of cocaine and her Gucci shoes — was in custody Wednesday.
Marsha Gay Reynolds, 32, a former Jamaican beauty queen, surrendered in New York and was charged with possession of cocaine with intent to distribute in a federal criminal complaint.
Court papers did not say what airline employed Reynolds, but a source told NBC News she worked for Jet Blue.
The suspect went on the lam Friday night after she showed up for a flight out of Los Angeles International Airport and was selected for a random screening.
The attendant — who normally would get to bypass bag screening as a crew member — became visibly nervous and made a phone call in a “foreign language,” Transportation Security Administration officers told police.
As she was being escorted to the front of the screening area, she kept trailing behind and then suddenly bolted toward an elevator, dropping her roller bags and taking off her designer shoes, authorities said.
She ran down an up escalator, out of the building and disappeared. Inside her bag, police found 11 bricks of cocaine wrapped in green plastic and placed into yellow or white envelopes, clothing, a package of condoms and a $5.38 in cash.
*After being accused of trying to sneak $3 million worth of cocaine through airport security at the Los Angeles International Airport, Marsha Gay Reynolds, a JetBlue flight attendant and former contestant in the Miss Jaimaica beauty contest, turned herself in on Wednesday to face federal drug charges.
Things went south for her after she was randomly selected for search by authorities and they found 70 pounds of cocaine in her luggage. A panicked Reynolds, some reason removed her shoes and tried run away barefooted down an upward-moving escalator.
Authorities say she ran out of the terminal and ended up in New York.
A spokesperson for Reynolds, Allan Jennings, said that it was possible she did not know what she was carrying:
“She may not have been fully aware of what was in the bags.”
But it seems this is not an isolated incident according to Assistant U.S. Attorney Alicia Washington who says this was “not the only time the defendant has engaged in this conduct.”
Here’s the back story to the incident as reported by the Daily Mail:
Asked to step aside for a random check, Reynolds nervously looked around and made a cellphone call as she was led to a screening area, the statement said.
When a Transportation Security Administration officer asked her for identification, she dropper her bag, ditched her Gucci shoes and took off, an affidavit said.
A TSA officer said he didn’t pursue her because his primary concern was her abandoned luggage.
In it was just over 68 pounds of cocaine, worth as much as $3 million on the streets of Los Angeles, authorities said.
JetBlue Airways Corp., which suspended Reynolds, said it was cooperating with the investigation.
Prosecutors said Reynolds ‘took advantage of her position as a crew member’ and ‘abused the trust’ she had.
If convicted, Reynolds could face at least 10 years in prison, prosecutors said.
The TSA has been concerned about security threats from insiders, including airline and airport employees, particularly after several baggage handlers were arrested in December 2014 on charges of smuggling guns from Atlanta to New York.
The TSA has said it would be too expensive to screen all employees fully.
Instead, it has urged airports to increase random screenings of workers and to keep background checks up to date.
The bottom line is that Reynolds bail has been set for $500,000 and the judge has warned that if she flees again, her family’s homes may be repossessed.