California Judge Orders Jetblue Attendant Held Without Bail on Cocaine Charges

A federal judge in California, U.S. District Judge Andre Birotte, recently overruled a Brooklyn magistrate judge and ordered a flight attendant held without bail after she allegedly dumped a bag of cocaine and fled authorities at Los Angeles International Airport. This decision came after the judge in Brooklyn had set defendant Marsha Reynolds’ bail at $500,000. This means Reynolds must now remain in custody in New York until she is transported to California to face her drug trafficking charges.

Reynolds, a JetBlue Airways Corp employee, is accused of dropping a 70lb bag of cocaine when she was randomly selected for screening at LAX – taking off her heels and running away.  Eyewitnesses said she had gotten nervous when she was selected and then made a phone call in a foreign language. LAX police soon found 11 packages of cocaine wrapped in cellophane inside one of the bags Reynolds left behind. The drugs are worth about $3 million.

Reynolds later turned herself in to authorities in New York. She was able to board a flight the next day to New York just by wearing her airline tag with her real name on it. This is because flight crews are subject to special security permissions, although they are still subject to random bag checks. In an embarrassing illustration of security breakdown, communication lapses, bureaucratic protocols, and special security privileges afforded to airline employees have contributed to Reynolds’ escaping law enforcement until she surrendered herself four days later at Kennedy Airport in New York.

When Can You Be Held Without Bail?

Bail” is known as the amount of money you must post in order to be released from jail.  Typically, when arrested, those who are being detained have the right to see a bail commissioner within 24 hours to either be given the chance to post bail, or be released out of one’s own recognizance, or his promise to appear in court. In determining bail, a judge or police officer will consider the seriousness of the charges against you, whether you have prior convictions or a record, or whether you pose a flight risk or public threat.

The Bail Reform Act of 1984 allows federal courts to deny bail to a defendant who presents a danger to any person or the community or poses a flight risk (also known as pretrial detention).  Under the act, crimes of violence, murder, and drug offenses where the penalty is 10 years imprisonment or more, presume a defendant is dangerous, and able to be held without bail.

San Diego Bail Processes and Criminal Defense Attorney

The Law Offices of David M. Boertje is dedicated to protecting your constitutional rights and freedom, and will do anything we can to keep you out of jail – even as a matter of bail rights. We are well versed in serious crimes such as drug trafficking and other felonies If you have been arrested or charged with a crime, contact our law firm today.