Flight attendant who ditched cocaine at LAX to plead guilty

LOS ANGELES (AP) — A former JetBlue flight attendant accused of trying to sneak a suitcase with 60 pounds of cocaine through Los Angeles International Airport and then making a dramatic dash to escape is set to plead guilty in federal court Monday.

Marsha Gay Reynolds, 32, is expected to plead guilty to conspiracy to possess and distribute cocaine, according to court documents. A conviction on the charge carries a mandatory minimum of 10 years in prison.

Reynolds, a U.S. citizen and resident of Queens, New York, is a former Jamaican beauty queen and New York University track athlete.

Bundles of cocaine were found in the bag she abandoned March 18 when she flung off her high heels and bolted after being flagged for a random security screening, authorities said. She ran down an upward-moving escalator and out the terminal. She took a JetBlue flight the next day to New York, where she surrendered days later.

An attorney for Reynolds said she might not have been sure what was in her bag.

Reynolds was getting paid thousands of dollars to help smuggle drugs and money through airport security at LAX and John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York, according to a plea agreement filed Friday.

The document spelled out nine different times when Reynolds helped an unnamed co-conspirator, who is not charged, pull off the scheme to deliver drugs to customers in Massachusetts and elsewhere. The person, who was in the U.S. illegally, gave Reynolds the cocaine and money, and she would use her “known crew member” clearance to get through security and then give them back to the co-conspirator, according to the document.

Prosecutors previously said 70 pounds of cocaine were found, but the plea agreement said it was just shy of 60 pounds. There was no immediate explanation for the discrepancy.

The co-conspirator fled to Jamaica, according to the document.

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