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Former Jamaican beauty queen on cocaine rap pleads guilty in the US

'Somebody gave her the bag': Dad defends JetBlue flight attendant accused of transporting 3Million worth of cocaine in two suitcases at LAX

Marsha Gay Reynolds

Marsha Gay Reynolds,

 

A former Miss Jamaica runner-up and JetBlue flight attendant pleaded guilty Monday to taking part in a cross-country drug smuggling operation that was discovered when she bolted from a screening checkpoint at Los Angeles International Airport.

Marsha Gay Reynolds abandoned a suitcase loaded with 60 pounds of cocaine. She faces a mandatory 10-year prison term when sentenced March 3 in federal court on a single count of conspiracy to possess and distribute cocaine.

Reynolds, 32, acknowledged earning thousands of dollars to help smuggle drugs and money through airport security at LAX and John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York by using her "known crew member" status to breeze past security and then transfer the contraband to a co-conspirator.

Airline employees with the clearance can bypass typical screening, even during personal travel in the U.S., but can be randomly searched.

When she was pulled aside for screening March 18, she flung off her high heels and ran down an upward-moving escalator out of the terminal. Authorities said the cocaine was worth about $3 million.

Reynolds reported to work for a flight to New York the next day and surrendered to the Drug Enforcement Administration there four days later.

The U.S. citizen and resident of Queens, New York, was dressed in a white jail jumpsuit Monday with her ankles chained together and wrists shackled to her waist. She could barely raise her right hand to pledge to tell the truth before her guilty plea.

She spoke in a soft voice and politely answered more than a dozen questions, addressing Judge Virginia Phillips as "your honor" almost each time.

The investigation into a larger drug ring is ongoing, said Thom Mrozek, a spokesman for the U.S. attorney's office.

In addition to a co-conspirator identified only as G.B., who fled to Jamaica, court papers refer to others "known and unknown" who carried out the scheme.

G.B. was in the U.S. illegally and stole the identities of mentally disabled men to get passports and driver's licenses in their names that he used to fly, court papers said. He and Reynolds were often on the same flights.

"She was able to facilitate this individual's drug trafficking operation," Mrozek said. "She was ferrying the drugs across the country and then bringing the proceeds of the drug sales back to Southern California."

Defense lawyer Stuart Goldfarb said outside court that he expects Reynolds will be able to get a reduced sentence despite the mandatory minimum. He would not explain how that would happen.

Typically, convicts who testify against co-defendants can get some break in sentencing. Goldfarb said Reynolds was not cooperating at this point with authorities.

Reynolds' plea agreement mentioned nine dates she helped the unnamed co-conspirator pull off the scheme so he could deliver drugs to customers in Massachusetts and elsewhere.

Jamaican Beauty Queen Caught Trafficking Cocaine on the Job (VIDEO)

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Flight attendant flees LAX leaving 70lbs cocaine in luggage Read more: 

Marsha Gay Reynolds

  • Marsha Gay Reynolds was found with 11 packages of cocaine wrapped in green cellophane and labeled, 'BIG Ranch' inside one of her bags
  • On the streets of Los Angeles, Massino said the retail value of the cocaine could be as high as $3 million 
  • After she was flagged for random security at LAX, she flung her heels and did a runner barefoot 
  • Her father claims that his daughter didn't know what was in the bag  
  • But prosecutors suggested that she may have smuggled before 

The father of a JetBlue flight attendant and former beauty queen accused of trying to transport $3 million worth of cocaine in two suitcases says the bags didn't belong to her.

'Somebody gave her the bag,' said Marcia Gay Reynolds' father, who refused to give his name, to the New York Post on Sunday. The newspaper visited his home in Jamaica, Queens.

Reynolds' father said his daughter told her that she didn't know what was inside the suitcase - a story that prosecutors are having a tough time believing. 

Jamaican Beauty Queen Caught Trafficking Cocaine on the Job (VIDEO)

Marsha Gay Reynolds

Marsha Gay Reynolds,

Flight attendant: Marsha Gay Reynolds, former runner up for Miss Jamaica World in 2008 (pictured), was arrested in New York on Wednesday. Police say she left two suitcases filled with cocaine at security in LAX

In court: Reynolds appeared in court Wednesday, where her defense has said that she 'may not have been fully aware what was in her bag', as prosecutors suggested she had smuggled before

In court: Reynolds appeared in court Wednesday, where her defense has said that she 'may not have been fully aware what was in her bag', as prosecutors suggested she had smuggled before

'She broke down, of course,' the father sad of his daughter with whom he spent a little time before officers put her in jail.

'I’m not in a good place right now,' he added.

The Post also talked to a friend of Reynolds who said that he is in 'shock.'He met her at a photo shoot in 2006 and they stayed in contact.

He told the paper that he helped her with her English homework while she was a student at NYU.

“I only remember her as the nice, thoughtful, beautiful girl who was going to college, working and keeping in shape,' he said. 

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Flight attendant flees LAX leaving 70lbs cocaine in luggage

Reynolds, a former Jamaican beauty queen and college track athlete, turned herself in Wednesday to face a federal drug charge.

Authorities said they found 70 pounds of cocaine in her luggage at LAX on March 18 after she was flagged for a random security screening, flung off her high heels and bolted barefoot down an upward-moving escalator.  

They said she ran out of the terminal and crossed the country to New York. 

Reynolds' spokesman Allan Jennings, representing her family and her defense lawyer, said: 'She may not have been fully aware of what was in the bags.'

Heavy duty: The cocaine weighed just over 68 pounds. Wholesale, the drugs would be worth about $ $3 million on the streets of Los Angeles

Heavy duty: The cocaine weighed just over 68 pounds. Wholesale, the drugs would be worth about $ $3 million on the streets of Los Angeles

But Assistant U.S. Attorney Alicia Washington told a court that last week was 'not the only time the defendant has engaged in this conduct.' 

Washington didn't elaborate, and Jennings said he was surprised by the claim.

A U.S. magistrate judge set bail for Reynolds at $500,000 and then warned her parents and two friends from her church they could lose their homes if she flees. 

He gave prosecutors a day to appeal before Reynolds can be freed.

Reynolds, a 31-year-old Jamaican-born U.S. citizen, graduated from New York University and ran track there. 

She was a runner-up in the Miss Jamaica World 2008 pageant, which sends the country's representative to Miss World contests.

Leaders of the Jamaica pageant were 'shocked and surprised' at news of Reynolds' arrest, said organizer Laura Butler, who doesn't know Reynolds. 

She said Reynolds apparently had traveled to Jamaica to compete while living in New York, as the contest allows for women of Jamaican heritage living elsewhere.

Reynolds arrived last week at a security checkpoint in LAX's Terminal 4 wearing jeans, heels and a black suit jacket and carrying her known crew member badge, an FBI agent's sworn statement said. She was off duty at the time.

Caught: LAX police found 11 packages of cocaine wrapped in green cellophane and labeled, 'BIG Ranch' inside one of the bags Reynolds had allegedly left behind

Caught: LAX police found 11 packages of cocaine wrapped in green cellophane and labeled, 'BIG Ranch' inside one of the bags Reynolds had allegedly left behind

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 dropped 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.

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Authorities seize $200million in cocaine headed to US

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Comment by Bombahdrop on December 22, 2016 at 6:45pm
Duhhh of course somebody gave her the bag. Lmaooo!!!
Comment by max pow on December 19, 2016 at 7:21am
Smh
Comment by vaughn mitchell on December 16, 2016 at 10:56pm

she will be turned out in jail. Daddys little girl, will be turned out by big momma. They gave her the bag and she took it. I guess she wanted to get rich fast.

Comment by Joann Spencer on December 15, 2016 at 1:18pm

Tell me why season greeting don't let them made you kit

Comment by DAVI KRISTOFF on April 5, 2016 at 8:09am
It's funny how it seems that drugs is the only product dum black people think of selling that'll make them rich!!!
If this dum byatch applies her education she could spin it into a book deal/movie. Boring a** movie tho!
Comment by Bombahdrop on April 5, 2016 at 7:15am
@Life meaning she never thought it could happen to her being that she was so confortable all them time she was getting the drugs by through customs. Suddenly a human error, I guess, the luggage pops open, drugs exposed and Bam she is off like Usain Bolt lmao she messed up. She should have appreciated her job with its salary. Smh
Comment by Bombahdrop on April 5, 2016 at 4:44am
Wow @Colin. I can only imagine how scared she is only because she never saw this coming. I don't know what else to say but she f***** in there.
Comment by scott cheers on April 5, 2016 at 2:42am

so the hell what, white law officials do this s*** everyday bring drugs into this country, so why is it a big deal if a black person do it? There would not be a drug problem if white men never started bringing it into this country she is no less than the a******* who make drugs and bring it into this country and who certain individuals bring it in

Comment by Colin on April 4, 2016 at 8:32pm
I saw her just before she was sent to California, very beautiful even in her prison jumpers, but she was scared. In my opinion she did this before. They will charge her as a mule , I wish her luck
Comment by dao on April 1, 2016 at 9:46am
Too late now she's in big trouble now

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