Federal authorities are searching for an unnamed JetBlue flight attendant who left behind approximately 70 pounds of cocaine stashed in her luggage. And a pair of Gucci heels.
Flight attendants and crew members are not normally subjected to TSA searches, but on Friday evening officers randomly selected the flight attendant for a screening. According to NBC News, that’s when the excitement started.
The woman, [now identified as Marsha Gay Reynolds], appeared nervous and made a cellphone call in a language not recognized by officers, authorities told NBC News. She was then taken aside to a secondary screening area and asked for her employee identification.
Suddenly, she bolted from the screening location, running with her bags toward an escalator, authorities said. She jettisoned the luggage and her designer shoes and fled the terminal.
The flight attendant ran barefoot down an upward-moving escalator, said Marshall McClain, president of the union representing LAX airport police officers. While the event sounds like a scene from a comedy, McClain was especially concerned that officers were alerted about the unattended bag, but not about a suspicious person running barefoot through the airport. He argued that this is why he thinks all flight attendants and other airport employees need to be screened.
“With her bringing this amount of narcotics in the airport, chances are this wasn’t her first time through,” said McClain. “We’re hoping this is a wake-up call to airport management as well as federal legislators.”
The incident was captured on video, and authorities have released an image of the abandoned cocaine, which is below.
Global News announced that the flight attendant was named Marsha Gay Reynolds. She surrendered to federal authorities at John F. Kennedy International Airport, though federal officials said it wasn’t immediately clear how she reached New York. She is expected in court today, according to U.S. Attorney’s spokesman Thom Mrozek.