A 34-year-old woman is facing a federal drug trafficking charge for allegedly trying to smuggle at least a kilogram of heroin and four kilograms of marijuana on a plane leaving Los Angeles International Airport.
Beige White was arrested Wednesday at LAX by special agents with the Drug Enforcement Administration, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.
The Chicago woman made her initial appearance in Los Angeles federal court on Thursday, at which time she was ordered held without bond and directed to appear for an arraignment on March 24.
A criminal complaint filed in court alleges that White attempted to smuggle about 2.28 pounds of heroin and 9 pounds of marijuana through a security checkpoint at LAX on Monday.
The narcotics were discovered in White’s luggage after she had checked in for a Southwest Airlines flight to Chicago, officials said.
After seeing something suspicious in one of the bags during an image scan, the Transportation Security Administration inspected the bag and discovered a clear plastic bag containing a substance later determined to be heroin, as well as multiple sealed plastic bags containing marijuana, prosecutors allege.
Another piece of checked luggage in White’s name also allegedly contained marijuana.
Los Angeles Airport Police responded to the scene, located White on her Southwest flight, and escorted her off the airplane.
During a subsequent interview, White admitted to airport police and federal agents that the bags containing the heroin and marijuana were hers, and that she and a friend had traveled from Chicago to attend events related to the Grammy Awards.
According to White’s statement recounted in the affidavit in support of the complaint, her friend had purchased her airline ticket and offered to pay White $1,500 if she agreed to transport marijuana back to Chicago on her return flight.
During the interview, White denied knowledge of the heroin that was in the same checked luggage as some of the marijuana, according to the affidavit.
Following the interview on Monday, White was released pending further federal investigation. Federal prosecutors filed the criminal complaint two days later, and White was taken into custody before she boarded another flight to return home, according to federal authorities.
— City News Service
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