News

USA: Airline worker flees; 70 pounds of cocaine found in luggage at LAX.

Federal authorities are searching for a flight attendant they say bolted from a security screening at Los Angeles International Airport, leaving behind about 70 pounds of cocaine stashed in her luggage.

Transportation Security Administration officers stopped the woman at random Friday, and she remained at large Monday, said Special Agent Timothy Massino with the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration.

The flight attendant was sent to a secondary screening area, but she quickly dropped her bag, ditched a pair of Gucci heels and fled barefoot downward in an upward-moving escalator, said Marshall McClain, president of the union representing LAX airport police officers.

Police were called to investigate an unattended bag and later uncovered 69 pounds of cocaine inside, McClain said.

McClain expressed concern that officers were alerted about the unattended bag but not a suspicious person running through the airport, he said Monday. He said the case also shows why all flight attendants and other airport employees need to be screened.

“With her bringing this amount of narcotics in the airport, chances are this wasn’t her first time through,” said McClain, head of the Los Angeles Airport Peace Officers Association. “We’re hoping this is a wake-up call to airport management as well as federal legislators.”

Security threats from “insiders” — airline and airport employees, as well as workers hired by contractors — have been a focus of the TSA, particularly after the December 2014 arrest of several Delta Air Lines baggage handlers. Prosecutors allege they smuggled guns, including an AK-47, from Atlanta to New York.

More information available at this link: http://www.tbo.com/ap/airline-worker-flees-70-pounds-of-cocaine-found-in-luggage-20160321/

Source: Tampa Tribune.

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