Nearly 70 pounds of cocaine found in flight attendant’s luggage; she takes off
LOS ANGELES (KTLA) — An airline employee who abandoned nearly 70 pounds of cocaine in her carry-on bag at LAX was being sought by federal drug agents on Monday.
The woman was selected for a random screening at Los Angeles International Airport on Friday, according to a spokesman for the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration.
During the encounter with Transportation Security Administration members, the airline employee “abandoned her belongings and escaped on foot,” DEA spokesman Timothy Massino said in a statement.
A search of her belongings turned up about 30 kg of “suspected cocaine,” or about 66 pounds, according to the statement.
The female airline employee was considered a fugitive, Massino told KTLA.
Massino would not say what position the woman held with an airline, nor did he name the airline.
But Los Angeles Airport Peace Officers’ Association identified her as a flight attendant, and NBC News said she reportedly worked for Jet Blue.
In light of the incident, the union for Los Angeles airport police officers issued a statement calling for screening of all passengers and employees.
“Flight attendants and other crew members are not normally subjected to searches, but this is a perfect example of why Los Angeles airports need 100% screening of all passengers and airport employees,” the union’s statement read. “Total employee screening is realistic and achievable and it should happen here at LAX.”
Two carry-on roller bags were abandoned by a flight attendant at Terminal 4, the Los Angeles Airport Peace Officers’ Association stated. After being directed to the screening location, the woman kicked off her shoes, made a cellphone call and ran down the up escalator, the union said, citing witnesses.
Terminal 4 serves American Airlines and its regional branch, American Eagle.