JetBlue Flight Attendant Arrested For Attempting To Smuggle 70 Pounds Of Cocaine

By McCarton Ackerman 03/25/16

The flight attendant left behind 11 bricks of cocaine and a pair of Gucci heels before fleeing the state last Friday night.

JetBlue Flight Attendant Arrested For Attempting To Smuggle 70 Pounds Of Cocaine
Photo via Shutterstock

A former pageant queen turned JetBlue flight attendant was arrested after fleeing from authorities who discovered 70 pounds of cocaine in her carry-on bag.

The Los Angeles Times reported that Marsha Gay Reynolds surrendered herself on Wednesday in New York City. She had been on the run since last Friday after fleeing Los Angeles International Airport. Reynolds has since been charged with possession of cocaine with intent to distribute, and faces a minimum of 10 years in prison if convicted.

The Transportation Security Administration reported that Reynolds was randomly selected to be screened at LAX. During that time, she reportedly became visibly nervous since crew members normally get to bypass bag screenings. TSA officers said that she made a phone call “in a foreign language,” then removed her Gucci shoes and ran away from the terminal. The bag she left behind was searched by LAPD officials and revealed 11 bricks of cocaine wrapped in green plastic and placed into envelopes.

Because TSA officials still hadn’t identified her 24 hours later, Reynolds was able to board a JetBlue flight bound for the East Coast on Saturday and remained in hiding until she finally surrendered herself to DEA agents at John F. Kennedy International Airport. In response to the incident, Marshall McClain, president of the Los Angeles Airport Peace Officers Association, called for all employers and passengers at LAX to be screened going forward. He denied claims that doing so wasn’t feasible, citing Miami International Airport and Orlando International Airport as two locations that already screen all their employees.

“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,” said McClain to reporters. “Total employee screening is realistic and achievable and it should happen here at LAX.” 

Reynolds is a former beauty queen whose name is listed as the runner-up of the 2007 Miss Jamaica Universe pageant and the third-place winner of the 2008 Miss Jamaica World pageant, NBC News found. An online pageant profile for her also claims that she attended New York University, where she was a member of the track and field team in 2004.

She isn’t the only flight attendant to attempt smuggling cocaine on a flight, though. Last August, Arik Airlines flight attendant Chika Udensi was arrested at Heathrow Airport in London after officials found 44 pounds of cocaine in his luggage. He was the second employee of the Nigerian airline in two years to be arrested for drug possession.

Please read our comment policy. - The Fix

McCarton Ackerman is a freelance writer and editor living in Portland, Oregon. He has been a contributor for The Fix since October 2011, writing on a wide range of topics ranging from medical marijuana in Colorado to the world's sexiest drug smugglers. Follow him on Linkedin and Twitter.