A TSA checkpoint screening has led to the arrest of Marsha Gay Reynolds, a flight attendant and past runner-up to the Miss Jamaica World beauty competition. TSA officials have identified Reynolds as a flight attendant with JetBlue Airlines.
When Reynolds was pulled out of line for baggage inspection, TSA officials reported that she seemed nervous and pulled out a cellphone and began speaking in a foreign language. Then Reynolds dropped her carry-on luggage, pulled off her Gucci high heels and took off running down the up escalator at Los Angeles International Airport. TSA officials did not pursue because they were more concerned with the luggage left behind that may have been a possible threat.
When TSA officials finally examined the luggage, they found 11 packages wrapped in green cellophane with the words “Big Ranch” written across each one. Sixty-eight pounds of cocaine were recovered. Law enforcement officials have estimated the street value of the drugs was close to $3 million. Yesterday, police were able to apprehend Reynolds at John F. Kennedy Airport in New York; it was thought that she was trying to flee the country to escape charges.
Reynolds has been charged with cocaine possession with intent to distribute and is expected to be arraigned today in federal court. Reynolds was a runner-up in Miss Jamaica World 2008 pageant and also a former member of the track and field team at New York University.
“Our nation’s security depends on every individual with security clearances to honor the trust placed in them. The defendant’s conduct violated that trust and, in the process, exposed the public to a major narcotics transaction and the dangers inherent to such a transaction. The intervention of the Transportation Security Administration and law enforcement ensured the safety of the passengers and staff at LAX,” said Eileen Decker, the U.S. attorney for the Central Districk of California.