Her baggage now includes a felony conviction.
The JetBlue flight attendant from Queens who kicked off her designer heels and sprinted down an up escalator when caught with 60 pounds of cocaine in her luggage at LAX last March pleaded guilty to conspiracy Monday. Marsha Gay Reynolds, 32, appeared in Los Angeles federal court wearing a white jail uniform and entered her plea to one felony count of conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute.She faces 10 years to life in prison at her sentencing set for March 13.
“She’s doing fine. She’s not a jailbird,” her lawyer Stuart Goldfarb told the Daily News after the hearing. “This is the first time she’s been charged with anything like this.” He declined to say how much his client knew about the multimillion-dollar cocaine trafficking scheme, but stressed Reynolds’ plea was not tied to any agreement with prosecutors to testify against possible co-conspirators. “If someone accepts responsibility, there’s a possibility of (her) getting less time,” he said. “(But) she’s not cooperating. She’s not doing that.”
The Jamaica-born former beauty pageant contestant — a runner-up in the Miss Jamaica World pageant in 2008 — was paid thousands of dollars to smuggle carry-on bags through airport screening checkpoints and then hand them off to a co-conspirator on the other side before the individual boarded flights, prosecutors said.
As a JetBlue employee, Reynolds had access to the Known Crew Member (KCM) checkpoints that are generally exempt from TSA baggage screening except in rare cases of random searches.
Prosecutors said Reynolds and the co-conspirator — identified only by the initials G.B. in court records — traveled together between New York and Los Angeles on multiple flights between October 2015 and March 2016.
It was March 18 that Reynolds was attempting to get the 60 pounds of cocaine through a KCM checkpoint at Los Angeles International Airport when she was flagged by the computer for a bag search.
She became visibly agitated and spoke to someone on her cell phone in what sounded like a foreign language before she ditched her shoes and made her daring dash, leaving the bags behind, court documents said. Security officials opted to worry about the risk posed by the abandoned luggage rather than chase after her, and she disappeared from the terminal, the court paperwork said. Her co-conspirator boarded a flight and later tried to persuade Reynolds to flee to Jamaica, authorities said. Instead, Reynolds staffed a flight back to New York on March 19, then failed to show up for work the next day, according to court documents.
She was arrested March 23 after meeting with G.B. in New York and receiving a “burner phone” to communicate without government surveillance, court documents said. Already in the U.S. illegally and using stolen identities, G.B. boarded a flight from New York to Miami on March 23 and then fled to Jamaica, authorities said. A spokesman for the U.S. Attorney in Los Angeles said he couldn’t comment on any effort to find and charge G.B., calling the case an ongoing investigation. http://www.nydailynews.com/new-york/queens/jetblue-flight-attendant-queens-guilty-cocaine-scheme-article-1.2908347