Beauty queen paid big money to smuggle cocaine - court document


December 12, 2016
FILE Marsha Gay Reynolds
Marsha-Gay Reynolds
FILE Marsha Gay Reynolds

Marsha Gay Reynolds, the Jamaica-born Jet Blue Airways flight attendant who has been jailed for drug trafficking in the US, is expected to enter a guilty plea today.

Thom Mrozek, spokesperson in the United States Attorney's Office, told THE STAR on Friday that Reynolds, runner-up in the Miss Jamaica World pageant in 2008, is now charged with conspiring to distribute cocaine.

The United States Government has indicated two dozen instances, dating back to October 24, 2015, on which they allege that Reynolds actively participated in schemes to distribute cocaine in the US.

She was arrested after she attempted to smuggle nearly 70 pounds of cocaine - worth an estimated US$3 million (J$367 million) - through Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) on March 18.

She reportedly kicked off her Gucci shoes in order to run from the airport.

A co-conspirator, G.B., who has not been charged, was, according to the court documents, not legally in the United States. He is said to have fled to Jamaica after Reynolds was arrested.

The documents said that G.B would steal the identities of mentally disabled individuals to obtain passports and drivers' licenses in their names.

He would then use these documents to fly on commercial airlines with either cocaine or money generated from the sale of cocaine.

The documents allege that Reynolds would provide G.B. with the dates that she was scheduled to work as a flight attendant so that G.B. could coordinate his drug distribution activity with her schedule and her proximity to Known Crew Member (KCM) access points in both Los Angeles and New York.

KCM is a programme that permits airline crew members, including flight attendants on domestic flights, to be exempt from Transportation Security Administration passenger screening, and to enter the "sterile" areas of an airport through access points, generally without any screening of carry-on luggage.

According to the documents, G.B. would provide Reynolds with cocaine and drug proceeds to smuggle through the access points for which it is alleged that G.B. would pay Reynolds thousands of dollars.

G.B. would then take possession of said drugs and proceeds inside the airport sterile areas.

It said Reynolds would then delete text message communications between G.B. and herself involving their activity.

The documents claim that on March 18, G.B. put approximately 26.94 kilogrammes of cocaine into luggage and gave it to Reynolds to pass through an LAX access point.

Reynolds agreed to move the luggage through an access point and provide G.B. with his luggage.

The indictment said that approximately 7:15 p.m., Reynolds abandoned the luggage and ran when she realised the luggage G.B. had given to her was about to be searched.

G.B., according to the indictment, fled from the United States to Jamaica by using the false name of J.B. to board American Airlines flight number 2243 from JFK to Miami and American Airlines flight number 1589 from Miami to Jamaica.

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