The woman was selected for a random screening at Los Angeles International Airport on Friday, according to the DEA.
During the encounter with Transportation Security Administration members, the airline employee “abandoned her belongings and escaped on foot,” DEA spokesman Timothy Massino said in a statement.
A search of her belongings turned up about 30 kg of cocaine (or about 66 pounds).
The female airline employee was considered a fugitive, Massino told KTLA news.
He would not say what position the woman held with an airline, nor did he name the airline.
In light of the incident, the union for Los Angeles airport police officers issued a statement calling for screening of all passengers and employees.
“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% screening of all passengers and airport employees. Total employee screening is realistic and achievable and it should happen here at LAX.”
Two carry-on roller bags were abandoned by a flight attendant at the terminal, the Los Angeles Airport Peace Officers’ Association stated.
Witnesses said that after being directed to the screening location, the woman kicked off her Gucci high heels, made a cellphone call and made a quick dash down the up escalator.
Marshall McClain, president of the union representing LAX airport police officers expressed concern that officers were alerted about the unattended bag but not a suspicious person running through the airport.
“With her bringing this amount of narcotics in the airport, chances are this wasn’t her first time through. We’re hoping this is a wake-up call to airport management as well as federal legislators.”
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