A flight attendant and former runner-up for the Miss Jamaica World beauty pageant fled Los Angeles International Airport and left security officers with her suitcases filled with an estimated $3 million worth of cocaine.
Marsha Gay Reynolds reportedly flung off her Gucci heels at the LAX airport and made a dash for the exit leaving behind almost 70 pounds of cocaine in her two suitcases. The Daily Mail reported LAX police discovered 11 packages of cocaine wrapped in green cellophane and labeled “BIG Ranch” inside one of the bags.
An FBI affidavit stated that Reynolds arrived at the LAX checkpoint in terminal four last Friday wearing jeans, heels, a black suit jacket and her “known crew member badge.” It isn’t clear whether she was on duty at the time.
According to reports, Transportation Security Administration officials asked Reynolds to step aside for a random security screening. As she approached the secondary screening area, Reynolds dropped her bag, kicked off her heels and ran away barefoot. TSA Officer Charles James did not pursue Reynolds as he cited the abandoned luggage as his main concern.
Marshall McClain, president of the union representing LAX airport police officers, said on Monday that Reynolds ran barefoot downward on an upward-moving escalator in her escape. Reynolds was arrested at John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York on Wednesday after she surrendered to federal authorities. It isn’t clear to federal officials how she got to New York in the first place.
U.S. Attorney spokesman Thom Mrozek said the 2008 Miss Jamaica World runner-upis expected to make an appearance in federal court in Brooklyn on Thursday. She is being charged with cocaine possession with intent to distribute.
Special Agent Timothy Massino, spokesman for the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, estimated that the drugs would be worth $750,000 wholesale in Los Angeles with a retail value as high as $3 million on the streets of Los Angeles.