Two former LAX baggage handlers charged in connection with cocaine smuggling operation

Two former baggage handlers at LAX were arrested Monday for their part in a drug smuggling ring that spanned from California to the east coast, according to the US Attorney’s Office. 

The two men 27-year-old Adrian Ponce and 26-year-old Alberto Gutierrez allegedly used their airport credentials to smuggle small amounts of cocaine past airport security. 

Thom Mrozek, a spokesperson for the US Attorney’s Office said, the men would then ask a passenger to carry the drugs aboard a flight to the East Coast to distribute the drugs to customers. 

If the customers were satisfied with the cocaine samples, one of the men would drive 100 kilograms shipments in a truck to the east coast, according to prosecutors. 

The arrests of the two men come on the same day that 31-year-old Marsha Gay Reynolds made her first federal court appearance.  

She was the Jet Blue flight attendant who tried to smuggle 70 pounds of cocaine through LAX security last month. 

Reynold kicked off her heels and made a run for it after she was pulled aside for additional screening, according to prosecutors. 

Reynolds later turned herself into authorities. 

Prosecutors say these three arrests in a short amount of time might indicate a larger problem with security at our nation’s airport.

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