TSA seizes 70 pounds of cocaine in airline employee's luggage

By Shawn Price  |  March 22, 2016 at 2:39 AM
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LOS ANGELES, March 22 (UPI) -- Nearly 70 pounds of cocaine were discovered in the luggage of an airline employee who turned and ran during a random TSA screening at Los Angeles International Airport on Friday, authorities said.

The woman, who was not identified, was going through the airport's security when she was randomly selected for screening by the Transportation Security Administration. She kicked off her heels and ran in the opposite direction, up an escalator and out of the airport, leaving her luggage. When the bags were examined, TSA officers found 66 pounds of cocaine inside.

The woman is currently a fugitive, the Drug Enforcement Administration said.

She "abandoned her belongings and escaped on foot," said DEA spokesman Timothy Massino in a statement.

It also not known what position the woman held for which airline.

"This is a perfect example of why Los Angeles airports need 100% screening of all passengers and airport employees," the Los Angeles airport police officers union said in a statement. "Total employee screening is realistic and achievable and it should happen here at LAX."

The woman has likely gotten away with it several times before, one expert believes.

"I don't believe anybody would trust a mule with that amount of dope the first time out," said Marshall McClain, president of the Los Angeles Airport Peace Officers Assn. "You're talking about $2-million worth of cocaine ... that's pretty troubling. This is more than likely not her first time doing this."

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