Beauty queen leaves prison - drug kingpin convicted
Two years and 17 days after she was arrested, a federal judge in Los Angeles, US, ordered the release of former Jamaican beauty contestant Marsha-Gay Reynolds.
Reynolds was sentenced to "time served" by a federal judge who cited her cooperation with prosecutors in another matter. Reynolds will spend three years on supervised release.
Online news outlet, My News LA, quotes US District Judge Christina Snyder as saying that the Jamaican “obviously provided substantial assistance to the government,” adding that prosecutors would have had a far more difficult time convicting Jamaican drug dealer Gaston Brown without her help.
A former JetBlue flight attendant, Reynolds tried to bring nearly 60 pounds of cocaine through a security checkpoint at Los Angeles International Airport by using her "known crewmember" credentials, pleaded guilty to conspiring to traffic narcotics.
Because of the quantity of narcotics involved in the case, Reynolds faced a mandatory minimum sentence of 10 years in federal prison. However, she got off with a light sentence after she apparently assisted US law enforcement in a drug trafficking case involving another Jamaican.
Last February, a federal grand jury named Brown, 39, of Jamaica, in an indictment that accuses him of supplying a JetBlue flight attendant with nearly 60 pounds of cocaine that she attempted to smuggle on to a plane at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX).
Court documents obtained by THE STAR said Reynolds received thousands of dollars from Brown in return for her assistance in smuggling drugs through airport security.
Brown was found guilty earlier this year following a trial. The jury found him guilty on five counts in the indictment. He is scheduled to be sentenced on August 27, at which time he faces a sentence of at least 12 years in prison.
At trial, the US Government alleged that Brown stole the identities of two mentally disabled men so that he could travel across the country to transport large quantities of cocaine without detection.
On March 18, 2016, he allegedly rented a van and booked flights in the name of one of the men and provided a suitcase with approximately 70 pounds of cocaine to Reynolds.
He later dropped her off at LAX so she could carry the luggage through a Known Crewmember Checkpoint without detection.
The government said that the conspiracy began in the fall of 2015 and continued until March 23, 2016, when Brown fled to Jamaica five days after Reynolds was held.
Court documents obtained by THE STAR yesterday indicated that Reynolds has been told to refrain from using any unlawful use of a controlled substance. She must also submit to one drug test within 15 days of her release from custody and at least two periodic drug tests thereafter.