TSA Checked Luggage Search Reveals 80 Pounds of Marijuana

Monday, 05 May 2014 08:11 AM

By Michael Mullins

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A TSA checked luggage search at Oakland International Airport found 81 pounds of marijuana and led to the arrest of a 26-year-old woman.

The discovery by the Transportation Security Administration, which generally checks for explosive devices and other weapons, was made Friday.

According to the TSA spokesman Anastasia Murdock, the luggage was checked in for a US Airways flight departing at 6 a.m., TravelersToday.com reported. The suspect's destination was reportedly Jackson, Mississippi, with stopovers planned for Phoenix and Dallas.

"TSA screens every bag placed on an airplane, whether taken as carry-on or checked with an airline," TSA spokesman Ross Feinstein told CNN in an e-mail.

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"As is common practice, TSA notified the Alameda County Sheriff's Office of the discovery, who responded and took possession of the marijuana," Feinstein added. "The passenger was subsequently arrested on criminal charges."

The woman, whose name was not released, reportedly did not tell authorities why she was traveling with the marijuana or to whom she was transporting the drugs to. She is currently being held on criminal charges in Santa Rita Jail, TravelersToday.com noted.

Though the pot was reportedly contained within vacuum-sealed bags inside the luggage, Sgt. Ray Kelly with the Alameda County Sheriff's Office, told NBCBayArea.com that such a precaution does not effectively contain the odor emitted by marijuana.

"As most people may know, it’s not hard to smell the odor of marijuana," Kelly said. "It’s very hard to conceal that odor."

"We in California are known for having high quality marijuana, and lots of it," Kelly added. "So it’s basically being exported out of our state, we believe, to Mississippi, where it’s probably being sold at a much higher value."

While the marijuana's street value in California is estimated at about half a million dollars, in Mississippi the drug's street value is reportedly upwards of five times that, according to TravelersToday.com.

The woman is scheduled to be arraigned in court on Tuesday.

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