Former Miss Jamaica runner-up arrested on US federal drug charges

Former Miss Jamaica runner-up arrested on US federal drug charges

Published on March 26, 2016 – By Caribbean News Now contributor

LOS ANGELES, USA — A JetBlue flight attendant and former Jamaican beauty queen, who allegedly attempted to use her credentials to bring nearly 70 pounds of cocaine through a security checkpoint at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) last Friday has been charged with a federal narcotics trafficking offence.

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Marsha Reynolds

Marsha Reynolds, 31, Jamaican-born US citizen, was taken into custody on Wednesday afternoon at John F. Kennedy International Airport after she surrendered to agents with the Drug Enforcement Administration’s New York Field Division. Reynolds allegedly abandoned 68.49 pounds of cocaine after being directed to a secondary screening area at LAX last Friday.  

Reynolds was charged in United States District Court on Wednesday with possession with the intent to distribute cocaine. The affidavit in support of the criminal complaint alleges that Reynolds approached the Known Crew Member security checkpoint in Terminal 4 at LAX Friday evening. After showing her official badge and identification to the Transport Security Administration officer on duty, Reynolds was randomly selected for additional screening. Reynolds was then escorted to a secondary screening area. Upon arriving at this checkpoint, Reynolds dropped her luggage, removed her shoes, and fled the area, running down an upward-traveling escalator and away from TSA officers. 

According to the affidavit, law enforcement officials followed protocol to determine that Reynolds’ luggage did not contain explosives or any dangerous devices. An LAX police officer then conducted an inspection of the bag and discovered a total of 11 individually wrapped packages which were later determined to contain cocaine.

If Reynolds is convicted of the narcotics trafficking offence, she would face a statutory maximum penalty of life in federal prison, and a mandatory minimum sentence of ten years.

Reynolds 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.

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