Los Angeles

Indictment in LAX drug smuggling case

A federal grand jury has named a Jamaican man in an indictment that accuses him of supplying a Jet Blue flight attendant with nearly 60 pounds of cocaine that she attempted to smuggle on to a plane at Los Angeles International Airport.

Gaston Brown, 39, of Jamaica, was charged with one count of conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute cocaine, and one count of possession with intent to distribute cocaine.

Brown is currently serving a one-year-and-one-day federal prison sentence after being convicted in the Southern District of Florida of illegal re-entry after deportation. A federal judge yesterday issued a writ directing that Brown be brought to Los Angeles for an arraignment, which will likely be in mid-February.

Brown allegedly supplied the narcotics to Marsha Gay Reynolds, a former JetBlue flight attendant, who pleaded guilty last month to federal drug charges and admitted she attempted to bring the narcotics through a security checkpoint at LAX by using her “known crewmember” credentials.

“This case demonstrates law enforcement’s commitment to disrupting dangerous drug trafficking networks,” said United States Attorney Eileen M. Decker. “After making the large seizure of narcotics at LAX, investigators continued to look into this matter, which resulted in the indictment of a defendant who was trafficking a significant amount of cocaine.”

An indictment contains allegations that a defendant has committed a crime. Every defendant is presumed to be innocent until and unless proven guilty in court.

If Brown is convicted of the drug trafficking charges, he would face a mandatory minimum sentence of 10 years in federal prison and a maximum possible sentence of life.

This investigation is being conducted by the Los Angeles International Airport Criminal Enterprise Task Force (LAACETF), an inter-agency task force based at LAX. The Task Force, which includes representatives of the FBI, the DEA, United States Customs and Border Protection, the Transportation Security Administration, the Los Angeles International Airport Police Department, the Los Angeles Police Department, and the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department. The LAACETF provides a coordinated law enforcement effort to target airport/airline internal criminal enterprises that use the aviation system to transport large amounts of illicit drugs throughout the United States and various international destinations.

This matter is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Reema M. El-Amamy of the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force.

  • Submitted by Thom Mrozek, Spokesperson/Public Affairs Officer, United States Attorney’s Office Central District of California (Los Angeles)
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