Flight Attendant Flees From 30 Kilos of Cocaine, Officials Say
What do you do when you're stopped by security at LAX and you're allegedly carrying 30 kilos of cocaine?
You run like hell.
In fact, witnesses said a woman jumped out of her high heels and fled down an "up" escalator after she was chosen for a random inspection at LAX over the weekend, according to a qualified LAX source with knowledge of the incident.
It happened Friday evening, according to another source, a federal official.
"Members of the Transportation Security Administration at Los Angeles International Airport attempted a random screening of an airline employee," the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration said in a statement. "During the encounter, the employee abandoned her belongings and escaped on foot."
Agents say 30 kilos of cocaine were found in her baggage. The suspect appeared to be a flight attendant, according to a statement from LAX's police union, the Los Angeles Airport Peace Officers Association (LAAPOA).
Our airport source said the woman made a phone call after being chosen for inspection but before fleeing. NBC News reported that she spoke on the phone in a language that TSA agents did not recognize.
The woman was carrying a purse and one piece of rolling luggage, the source said. She was described as well-dressed — in a suit or uniform.
The LAAPOA said it happened in Terminal 4. The organization is unhappy with the level of security at the airport.
"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 percent screening of all passengers and airport employees," it said in a statement.
“The weekend’s incident reinforces the Los Angeles Airport Peace Officers Association's calls for an airport police officer to be stationed within 300 feet of the TSA screening checkpoint," said union President Marshall McClain.
Airport police, he argued, are "the last line of defense in keeping unwanted items off of planes and ill-willed individuals from getting access to planes."
A federal official told us the woman in question was not technically a fugitive because she had not yet been charged with suspicion of any crime.
However, it's clear that authorities would like to have a word with her.
Cocaine seized at LAX Friday
From a reliable source
Get the This Week's Top Stories Newsletter
Every week we collect the latest news, music and arts stories — along with film and food reviews and the best things to do this week — so that you'll never miss LA Weekly's biggest stories.