NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) — A JetBlue flight attendant facing drug distribution charges has been ordered to be returned to California.
U.S. District Judge Andrew Birotte Jr. in Los Angeles issued the order after prosecutors appealed a New York City jurist’s decision to free Marsha Gay Reynolds on $500,000 bail.
Birotte directed U.S. marshals to transport the Jamaica-born Reynolds to Los Angeles.
The 31-year-old Queens resident is accused of trying to clear security at Los Angeles International Airport with nearly 70 pounds of cocaine worth $3 million. The drugs were allegedly found in her luggage on March 18 after she was flagged for a random security screening.
Authorities said she then flung off her high heels and bolted barefoot down an upward-moving escalator. They said she ran out of the terminal and crossed the country to New York.
Reynolds turned herself in to federal authorities at John F. Kennedy International Airport on Wednesday.
Her supporters said she was set up.
“She may not have been fully aware what was in the bags,” the defendant’s spokesman Allan Jennings said. “The facts will come out and everyone will be surprised there’s more to the story.”
Birotte decided Reynolds should remain in custody while being transported to an April 7 hearing in Los Angeles.
Jennings said defense lawyers were not invited to appear before Birotte before he issued his order late Thursday in Los Angeles.
“It was grossly unfair for him to sign an order without giving her an opportunity to be heard,” he said.
Reynolds, a former Jamaican beauty queen and New York University track athlete, has been suspended from her job.
She appeared in Brooklyn federal court Friday afternoon.
(TM and © Copyright 2016 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2016 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)