A JetBlue flight attendant and former sprinter appeared in federal court in New York on Thursday, six days after authorities say she dropped a bag containing almost 70 pounds (32 kg) of cocaine at Los Angeles International Airport, took off her shoes and dashed away.
Marsha Reynolds, 31, of Queens, was charged with possession of cocaine with intent to distribute.
A U.S. magistrate judge in Brooklyn granted her release on a $500,000 bond but put the order on hold until Friday to allow a judge in California, where she would face trial, to weigh in.
Prosecutors also said in court they were searching for an unidentified co-conspirator involved in the case but offered few details.
The JetBlue Airways Corp employee, a college sprinter and a former beauty pageant contestant, was randomly selected for additional security screening on Friday evening at Los Angeles airport’s Terminal 4. She had two carry-on bags and a large purse, according to authorities.
A Transportation Security Administration employee told an FBI agent that Reynolds made a phone call and spoke in a foreign language. After she was escorted to a screening area, she dropped her luggage, took off her shoes and sprinted out of the terminal.
The TSA worker did not pursue her in order to secure the luggage, which contained 11 packages of cocaine weighing a total of 68.5 pounds, according to court documents.
Reynolds turned herself in to federal agents on Wednesday at John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York. She was apparently able to board a flight from Los Angeles after the incident using her airline identification.
A spokesman for the family told reporters there was “more to the story” and that additional facts would emerge as the case proceeded.
JetBlue representatives did not immediately respond to a request for comment. Prosecutors said she has worked for the airline for six years and has been suspended due to the incident.
(Reporting by Brendan McDermid; Writing by Joseph Ax; Editing by Alan Crosby)