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US federal authorities attempt to block bail of Jamaican beauty contestant held on drug charges

Published:Sunday | March 27, 2016 | 3:38 PM

US federal prosecutors are attempting to block the decision of a Brooklyn, New York judge to release on bail a JetBlue flight attendant and former Jamaican beauty contestant, who has been charged in connection with an attempt to smuggle 70 pounds of cocaine through the Los Angeles International Airport.

Marsha Gay Reynolds appeared in Brooklyn Federal Court on Friday supported by family, her minister, and a former New York City councilman. She faces at least 10 years in prison if convicted.

Reynolds was given US$500,000 bail but Assistant US Attorney Alicia Washington requested a stay until an appeal could be heard by a US federal magistrate judge in Los Angeles.

Reynolds had surrendered to police at John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York last Wednesday.

US federal prosecutors argued that Reynolds abandoned two pieces of luggage after she was randomly selected for checkpoint screening.

The 31-year-old reportedly fled the airport leaving behind the drugs valued at US $3 million and, according to media reports, made her way home later to Queens, New York, where she surrendered to the police.