Monday, December 12, 2016

Former JetBlue flight attendant to plead guilty to smuggling cocaine at Los Angeles International Airport

Marsha Gay Reynold, pictured left; LAX police tweeted and deleted this photo of cocaine discovered in a flight attendant’s luggage in March 2016.(Credit: Mona S. Edwards / Los Angeles Airport Police Dept.)



A former JetBlue Airways flight attendant who is accused of smuggling nearly 60 pounds of cocaine into the Los Angeles International Airport is expected to plead guilty Monday afternoon in federal court in Los Angeles, officials said.

Marsha Gay Reynolds, 31, of Queens, N.Y., was charged with possession of cocaine with intent to distribute after she abandoned two carry-on luggage bags at a security checkpoint on March 18. She had been randomly selected for a search when she kicked off her heels and dashed out of the airport, according to U.S. District Court documents.

Reynolds is a U.S. citizen born in Jamaica who had competed in beauty pageants in the past. She was studying to become a nurse while working for JetBlue, her former attorney said.

According to federal prosecutors, Reynolds was working with an unnamed man who distributed the cocaine to Massachusetts and other locations. Reynolds’ unidentified co-conspirator, who was in the United States illegally, stole the identities of mentally disabled victims and used them to get passports and driver’s licenses.

He would then fly on commercial airlines while carrying cocaine or drug money, according to federal court documents. Reynolds told the man when she was scheduled to work on a flight, so that they could coordinate his drug activity with her flight itinerary, prosecutors said.

As a flight attendant, Reynolds had access to secure sites at airports that generally don’t require baggage screening.

She smuggled drugs and money through those sites and gave them to her co-conspirator, according to prosecutors. He paid Reynolds thousands of dollars for smuggling drugs through the airports, according to documents.

Prosecutors said she deleted text messages from her co-conspirator.

In the March incident, authorities said the unnamed man had traveled from New York to Los Angeles a day earlier, so he could gather cocaine to dispense to East Coast customers.

The next day, Reynolds flew from New York to Los Angeles to meet with him and grab the luggage, which had already been stuffed with 59.39 pounds of cocaine, according to the federal document. Authorities initially reported the cocaine weighed about 68.49 pounds.

Reynolds then provided her badge to a Transportation Security Administration officer at LAX's Terminal 4, according to the complaint. The officer confirmed that she was a pre-screened crew member when the scanner randomly selected her for additional security screening. Airport and airline staff aren’t subject to routine security checks at LAX.

Reynolds became nervous, pulled her cellphone from her purse, and placed a call, federal authorities said. She began speaking in a foreign language. As Reynolds was escorted to a secondary screening area, she dropped her carry-on luggage, kicked off her shoes and ran away.

Reynolds managed to board one of her company's planes the following day and traveled to New York City, according to court documents. The unnamed man also caught a flight to New York.

Days later, she met up with the unnamed man, who provided her with a prepaid cellphone. He later fled from the United States to Jamaica.

Reynolds surrendered on March 23 to Drug Enforcement Administration agents at John F. Kennedy International Airport.

After she was arrested, family friends as well as her mother offered their homes as a surety for bail. More than a dozen relatives and friends, including a doctor and flight attendant, submitted letters to the court, describing her character and work ethic.

Reynolds faces a minimum of 10 years in prison if convicted.

Story and video:   http://www.latimes.com




Marsha Gay Reynolds, the Jamaican flight attendant charged with conspiring to distribute cocaine is expected to appear in court shortly.

Thom Mrozek, spokesperson at the United States Attorney's Office, Central District of California, told THE STAR last Friday that Reynolds is expected to plead guilty to conspiring to distribute cocaine today.

The United States Government has alleged that Reynolds, whose father is an ex-policeman in Jamaica, conspired  and  agreed with others to  knowingly  and  intentionally possess  with  intent  to  distribute at  least  five  kilograms  of  a  mixture  or substance  containing  a  detectable  amount  of  cocaine in  Los  Angeles  County,  within  the  Central District  of  California,   and  elsewhere.

The United States Government has pointed to several instances, dating back to October 24, 2015, in which they allege that Reynolds actively participated in schemes to distribute cocaine in the US.

Reynolds, a Miss Jamaica runner-up,  was arrested after she attempted to smuggle nearly 70 pounds of cocaine - worth an estimated US$3 million (J$367 million) - through Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) on March 18.

She reportedly kicked off her Gucci shoes in order to run from the airport.

A co-conspirator, G.B., who has not been charged, was, according to the court documents, not legally in the United States. He is said to have fled to Jamaica after Reynolds was arrested.

The documents said that G.B would steal the identities of mentally disabled individuals to obtain passports and drivers' licenses in their names.

He would then use these documents to fly on commercial airlines with either cocaine or money generated from the sale of cocaine. 

Here are the instances that the US Government said Reynolds participated in the drug trade:

1. On  October 24, 2015,   defendant  REYNOLDS  and unindicted co-conspirator  G.B.,   using  the  name  M.W.,   traveled  together  from JFK  to  LAX  on  JetBlue  flight  number 23  in  connection  with unindicted  co-conspirator  G.B.'s  drug  trafficking  activities.

2. On  November 15, 2015,   defendant  REYNOLDS  and unindicted  co-conspirator  G.B.,   using  the  name  M.W.,   traveled together  from  JFK  to  LAX  on  Jet  Blue  flight  number 2023  in connection  with  unindicted  co-conspirator  G.B.'s  drug trafficking  activities.

3. On  December 7, 2015,   defendant  REYNOLDS  and  unindicted co-conspirator  G.B.,   using  the  name  M.W.,   traveled  together  from JFK  to  LAX  on  JetBlue  flight  number 623  in  connection  with unindicted  co-conspirator  G.B.'s  drug  trafficking  activities.

4. On  January  17, 2016,   defendant  REYNOLDS  and  unindicted co-conspirator  G.B.,   using  the  name  M.W.,   traveled  together  from JFK  to  LAX  on  JetBlue  flight  number 623  in  connection  with unindicted  co-conspirator  G.B.'s  drug  trafficking  activities.

5. On  February 17, 2016,   unindicted  co-conspirator  G.B. traveled  to  LAX  from  JFK  on American Airlines  flight  number 171 in  connection  with  unindicted  co-conspirator  G.B.'s  drug trafficking  activities.

6. On  February  17, 2016,   defendant  REYNOLDS  traveled  to LAX  from  JFK  on  JetBlue  flight  number 523  to  meet  with unindicted  co-conspirator  G.B.   in  connection  with  unindicted  co-conspirator  G.B.'s  drug  trafficking  activities.

7. On  February 18, 2016,   defendant  REYNOLDS  traveled  from LAX  to  JFK  on American Airlines  flight  number 28,   which  departed LAX  at 10:30  p.m.   and  arrived  at  JFK  at  approximately 6:46  a.m. on  February 19, 2016.

8. On  February 18, 2016,   unindicted  co-conspirator  G.B., using  the  name  M.W.,   traveled  from  LAX  to  JFK  on American Airlines  flight  number 30,   which  departed  LAX  at 11:30  p.m.   and arrived  at  JFK  at  approximately 7:46  a.m.   on  February 19, 2016 in  connection  with  unindicted  co-conspirator  G.B.'s  drug trafficking  activities.

9. On March  3, 2016,   defendant  REYNOLDS  and unindicted co-conspirator  G.B.,   using  the  name  M.W.,   traveled  together  from LAX  to  JFX  on American Airlines  flight  number 30  in  connection with  unindicted  co-conspirator  G.B.'s  drug  trafficking activities.

10. On  March 17, 2016,   unindicted  co-conspirator  G.B., using  the  name  M.W.,   traveled  to  LAX  from  JFX  on American Airlines  flight  number 23  so  that  unindicted  co-conspirator  G.B. could  obtain  cocaine  to  distribute  to  customers  on  the  East Coast.

11. On  March 18, 2016,   defendant  REYNOLDS  traveled  to  LAX from  JFK  on JetBlue  flight  number 423  to  meet  with  unindicted co-conspirator  G.B.   in  connection  with  unindicted  co-conspirator

G.B.'s  drug  trafficking  activities.

12. On  March 18, 2016,   unindicted  co-conspirator  G.B. obtained  approximately 26.9.4  kilograms  of  cocaine  from  a  source of  supply  to  distribute  to  customers  on  the  East  Coast.

13. On March 18, 2016,   unindicted  co-conspirator  G.B. secreted  approximately 26.94  kilograms  of  cocaine  into  luggage that  unindicted  co-conspirator  G.B.   gave  to  defendant  REYNOLDS to  pass  through  a  KCM  access  point  at  LAX.

14. On March 18, 2016,   defendant  REYNOLDS  agreed  to  move unindicted  co-conspirator  G.B.'s  luggage  through  a  KCM  access point  at  LAX,   and  to  provide  unindicted  co-conspirator  G.B.  with his  luggage  in  a  sterile  area  of  the  airport  where  unindicted co-conspirator  G.B.   would  be  waiting  to  board American Airlines flight  number 10  that  would  be  departing  to  JFK  at 9:30  p.m.

15. On  March  18, 2016,   at  approximately 7:15  p.m., defendant  REYNOLDS  abandoned  unindicted  co-conspirator  G.B.'s luggage  and  fled  LAX  on  foot  when  she  realized  that  the  luggage that  unindicted  co-conspirator  G.B.   had  given  to  her  to  move through  the  KCM  access  point  was  about  to  be  searched.

16. On  March 18, 2016,   unindicted  co-conspirator G.B., using  the  false  name  of  M.W.,   fled  from  Los  Angeles  to New  York on American Airlines  flight  number 10  from  LAX  to  JFK.

17. On March 18, 2016,   defendant  REYNOLDS  spoke  with unindicted  co-conspirator  G.B.,  who  told  defendant  REYNOLDS  not to  report  to  work at  JetBlue  airlines  the  following  day  to  fly from  LAX  to  JFK,   and  instructed  defendant  REYNOLDS  to make  plans to  flee  the  United  States  to  Jamaica.

18. On  March 19, 2016,   defendant  REYNOLDS  left  Los  Angeles for  New  York  as  a  flight  attendant  on  JetBlue  flight  number 124 traveling  from  LAX  to  JFK.

19. On March 20, 2016,   defendant  REYNOLDS  failed  to  report to  work  at  JFK  airport.

20. On  March 21, 2016,   defendant  REYNOLDS  and  unindicted co-conspirator  G.B.   met  in  New  York,   at  which  time  unindicted co-conspirator  G.B.   instructed  defendant  REYNOLDS  not  to cooperate  with  law  enforcement  officers,   and provided  defendant REYNOLDS  with  an  anonymous  pre-paid  "burner"  telephone  in  an effort  to  prevent  law  enforcement  from  covertly monitoring  their telephone  conversations  regarding  their  drug  distribution activity.

21. On  March 21, 2016,   defendant  REYNOLDS  deleted  her  text message  communications  with  unindicted  co-conspirator  G.B.   from her  personal  cell  phone  to  prevent  law  enforcement  from obtaining  evidence  of  their  efforts  to  smuggle  drugs  and  drug proceeds  via  commercial  airline  flights.

22. On March 23, 2016,   unindicted  co-conspirator  G.B.   fled from  the  United  States  to  Jamaica  by using  the  false  name  of J.B.   to  board American Airlines  flight  number 2243  from  JFK  to Miami  and American Airlines  flight  number 1589  from  Miami  to Jamaica.

Source:   http://jamaica-star.com

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