A 30-year-old woman caught at Los Angeles International Airport with multiple pounds of heroin and cocaine in her luggage was sentenced Wednesday to more than two years behind bars for her role in a drug ring that used couriers to carry narcotics on flights from Los Angeles to Detroit.
Kennsha Mason was also ordered by U.S. District Judge Christina A. Snyder to serve five years of supervised release following her 27-month term in federal prison.
“I am really hopeful that you can break away from a difficult past,” the judge told the defendant. “I have every confidence you’re going to make it.”
Mason pleaded guilty in Los Angeles to conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute heroin and cocaine. The felony charge carries a mandatory 10-year minimum sentence, but prosecutors recommended a far lesser penalty due to Mason’s “substantial assistance” and minor role in the scheme, Assistant U.S. Attorney Alex Wyman told the court.
Three co-defendants also pleaded guilty to the conspiracy charge. Kevin “Wood” Blair, 47, of Pasadena, the leader of the ring, is set to be sentenced Dec. 17. Delano “Bop Bop” Leflore is scheduled for sentencing Monday. Gabriela Maria De Leon got off with time already served for her minor role in the scheme.
The case began to unfold in March 2017 when authorities discovered more than four pounds of heroin and two pounds of cocaine in the checked luggage of Mason, who lives in Detroit.
Leflore, 38, also of Detroit, had hired Mason to transport the drugs and made arrangements for her to travel to Los Angeles. Upon arrival, Mason went to a townhouse on South Oakland Avenue in Pasadena, where Blair supplied the narcotics that were discovered by law enforcement in her suitcase, according to federal prosecutors.
“I acknowledge my wrongdoing,” Mason told the judge. “And I learned tremendously during the 19 months I’ve been incarcerated.”