A Pasadena man wanted in Detroit for attempted murder is facing federal charges connected to the arrest at Los Angeles International Airport of a woman suspected of trying to smuggle at least 2.2 pounds of cocaine onto a jetliner, prosecutors said Tuesday.
Kevin “Wood” Blair, 45, was taken into federal custody Monday and ordered held without bond following a hearing in Los Angeles federal court, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.
A second man — Delano “Bop Bop” Leflore, 37, of Detroit — was also charged in the complaint and is being sought by federal authorities.
The criminal complaint charges Blair and Leflore with conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute and to distribute heroin and cocaine, a charge which carries a potential penalty of life in federal prison.
Prosecutors allege the defendants were key operatives in a drug trafficking organization that shipped cocaine and heroin from Los Angeles to Detroit.
U.S. marshals said Blair has been on the run for more than four years and was named one of Detroit’s “Most Wanted” in connection with the attempted murder case. In 2012, he turned himself in and was let out on bail before disappearing, authorities said.
The drug case against Blair and Leflore follows the March 7 cocaine seizure at LAX. After the narcotics were discovered in checked luggage, federal prosecutors charged a 28-year-old Detroit woman with being a drug courier.
Last Friday, a federal grand jury in Los Angeles indicted the woman, Kennsha Mason, on three counts: conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute and to distribute heroin and cocaine, possession with intent to distribute heroin, and possession with intent to distribute cocaine.
Mason, who remains in federal custody in Los Angeles, was scheduled to be arraigned on the indictment Tuesday afternoon.
During the investigation of Mason, investigators developed evidence that Blair and Leflore coordinated the shipment of narcotics that Mason was ferrying to Detroit, prosecutors allege.
According to the criminal complaint, Leflore hired Mason to transport narcotics and made arrangements for her to travel from Detroit to Los Angeles. Once in Los Angeles in early March, Mason traveled to a townhouse on South Oakland Avenue in Pasadena, where Blair allegedly supplied the narcotics that were discovered by law enforcement in her suitcase.
Blair was taken into custody Friday by the Pasadena Police Department pursuant to an outstanding felony warrant for assault with intent to murder that was issued by a court in Wayne County, Michigan. After he was arrested, authorities said they found a receipt for a UPS shipment sent from Los Angeles to Detroit.
Law enforcement authorities in Michigan on Monday intercepted the package Blair sent by UPS, and recovered at least 2.2 pounds of suspected heroin and an ounce of suspected fentanyl, according to the criminal complaint.
Blair was ordered to appear in federal court for a preliminary hearing on April 17 and for arraignment on April 21.
During an interview with authorities after her arrest, Mason admitted to DEA special agents that she had previously transported drugs from Los Angeles to Detroit on four or five occasions, and that she was paid $3,500 each time she transported narcotics to Detroit, prosecutors allege.
During the interview recounted in an affidavit, Mason allegedly stated that she was working for someone in Detroit who purchased her airline tickets and directed her to an address in Pasadena, where she picked up the drugs to be delivered to Detroit.
The complaint charges Mason with possession with the intent to distribute a controlled substance, a charge which carries a possible sentence of up to 20 years in federal prison.
—City News Service