NEW YORK, United States (CMC) – A Brooklyn, New York, judge has agreed to release on bail a JetBlue flight attendant and former Jamaican beauty queen charged with leaving 70 pounds of cocaine at Los Angeles International Airport, but US federal prosecutors immediately blocked the judge’s decision.
Marsha Gay Reynolds appeared in Brooklyn Federal Court on Friday supported by family, her minister, and a former New York City Councilman. She faces at least 10 years in prison if convicted.
Reynolds was given US$500,000 bail, but Assistant US Attorney Alicia Washington requested a stay until an appeal could be heard by a US federal magistrate judge in Los Angeles.
Reynolds had surrendered to police at John F Kennedy International Airport in New York on Wednesday.
US federal prosecutors argued Reynolds abandoned two pieces of luggage after she was randomly selected for checkpoint screening.
Reynolds, 31, kicked off her Gucci shoes and fled the airport leaving behind the drugs valued at US$3 million, and according to media reports somehow made her way home later to Queens, New York, where she surrendered to authorities.
“The defendant’s co-conspirator also has tried to flee to Jamaica as recently as last night,” Washington told Justice Viktor Pohorelsky.
Reynolds’ unidentified alleged co-conspirator has access to forged travel documents, Washington said.
Reynolds, a former beauty queen in her native Jamaica, is a graduate of New York University, and is studying to be a nurse at Mercy College while working for JetBlue, the Daily News said. She has been suspended from her job.
The judge okayed the bail bond, which will be secured by homes owned by Reynolds’ mom and the Pentecostal minister. She would be required to stay at her parents’ home in Queens but could attend school.
“Miss Reynolds is a very good young woman,” said Allan Jennings, a former New York City Councilman, stating that he was a spokesman for Reynolds’ family. “She’s done all the right things in life except for this one situation.
“She may not have been fully aware of what was in the bags,” he added.